In it's over 100 year history, the Village Hall has hosted a wide variety of local community events. These include, political meetings, church entertainments and Sunday school classes, concerts, illustrated talks, jumble sales, badminton, billiards, cards, play groups, and much more! During the First and Second World Wars, the hall was handed over for use by the many servicemen stationed in this area, it housed the activities of the British Red Cross Society, the Cadet Corps, and was used as a First Aid Point and Depot. For a time the Village Hall functioned as the school canteen, a soup kitchen, and even the local library. It has hosted events for the Women's Institute, Men's Club, Youth Club, Film Society, British Legion, Ashdown Garden Society, Dramatic Society and the Parish Council. This tradition of community events hosting continues today! Please click the link below to browse upcoming events.
Inside the Village Hall
In the foyer of the Village Hall you will find notice boards, tourist information, and some books for sale. To the left of the foyer is the bookings office, to the right a toilet and a private office. Upstairs are a further two offices. As you enter the foyer, directly in front are the doors to the Freshfield Hall.
Please note, the entrance to the Peter Griffits Hall and British Legion Committee room is at the other side of the Village Hall, near the pelican crossing traffic lights.
The Freshfield Hall
The Freshfield Hall is the largest of our halls for hire and is ideal for events and classes that require space, such as public meetings and lectures, fitness classes and private parties. The large stage area and changing rooms also make the Freshfield Hall a great space for theatrical productions and concerts.
The Peter Griffits Hall
Light and bright, the Peter Griffits Hall is suitable for smaller groups and classes as well as seated meetings such as lectures or AGMs. It is also an ideal size and space for children’s parties!
The British Legion Committee Room
The British Legion Committee Room is ideal for holding meetings, accommodating approximately 15 people. It has a large table with seating, and is accessed via the lobby of the Peter Griffits Hall.
Memorials & Plaques
Please find below details of Memorials and Plaques which can be found in and around the Village Hall.
Henry Freshfield Memorial
The Village Hall was built and gifted to the Forest Row community in memory of Henry Freshfield who died in 1891, aged 14. This memorial stone can be found inside the Village Hall.
Forest Row War Memorial
Directly in front of the Village Hall is a memorial to the men of Forest Row who served and died in the First and Second World Wars. It details the names of 114 people. For more information, please follow this link.
John F. Kennedy Commemoration
This stone, unveiled by Harold MacMillan MP, commemorates the visit of President John F. Kennedy to Forest Row in June 1963. JFK was assassinated in November that same year.
A Registered Charity
Being a registered charity means that ALL funds raised through the activities of the Village Hall are re-invested into it's upkeep and management. The Village Hall does not receive any local authority funding, but relies solely on event hiring income and fundraising activities. Since it's inception in 1892, the Forest Row Village Hall was to be used as a parochial hall and institute for the benefit of the Forest Row community. It has always operated as not-for-profit, and in it's early years was supported by the Freshfield family. In 1907, D.W. Freshfield handed over the management of the hall to a committee, which still continues today. There is a conveyance document dated 1928 which details the functions of the trustee management committee. A further governing document from 1969 is a scheme made under the charities act of 1960. In 2016 the Forest Row Village Hall updated its charitable status to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), number 1166254.
The Village Hall is administered by a group of volunteer trustees. There is a meeting once per month to discuss the management of the Village Hall. The hall employs two people (not trustees), a hall manager and a caretaker.