Much-loved Edwardian drill hall faces destruction

Horncastle Town Hall

SAVE has written to East Lindsay District Council urging it to back track on plans to demolish Horncastle Town Hall, an early 20th century former drill hall which has played a key role in the modern history of the town.

Built in 1901 from funds raised by public subscription, the Town Hall has a significant and interesting history. Its original use was as a drill hall for local militia – the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. In addition to training soldiers for both World Wars, the town hall was used as a Red Cross Hospital during WWI and as a centre for the recuperation of returning servicemen during WWII. It continued as a military training centre, this time for the Volunteers (the Territorial Army) until 1970, before being converted to council offices and a successful community centre for a wide range of activities.

Of unknown authorship, the building is a simple, but handsome, brick hall. The extent of public affection for this fine building is illustrated by the 3500 signature petition presented to the council objecting to demolition. The campaign (which has the support of the local MP) has been led by local organisations, the Horncastle Steering Group and Horncastle Town Hall Working Group, and the latter has put together a scheme (together with business plan) for converting the building to community use. Support for the campaign against demolition has also come from national bodies including the Victorian Society, the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archeology.

The decision to demolish Horncastle Town Hall goes against the council’s own development plan which states that ‘development which involves the loss of a community or social facility considered important to the community will not be permitted’. A housing scheme is proposed as its replacement - hardly a substitute for such a much loved and well used community facility.

Please send any objections to:

Mr Nigel Howells
Chief Executive
East Lindsay District Council
Tedder Hall
Manby Park
LN11 8UP