It was 894 when the Danes were said to have passed through Hurley in their march up the Thames from London to Gloucester. An established church is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086. The church was dedicated as a Benedictine Monastery in 1089 and grew in size and significance until it was destroyed in 1536 under Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The colourful Hurley history includes the staging of a plot in 1688 to bring Dutch William of Orange and his wife Mary to the English throne, deposing Mary’s father, King James II. In stark contrast, in 1933, the Daily Mirror ran a centre spread about nude midnight bathing at Hurley lock. There is no evidence that VIPs Winston Churchill, Elliot Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower participated in such shenanigans when they visited the village prior to the D-Day landings during WW2! 

Village Hall History

The building that is today the Hurley Village Hall originally formed part of Lee Farm House and, underlining the status of wealthy farmers of the past, was the music room of that property.

Immediately after the Second World War, the building, still known as The Music Room, was used as a general Village Community Centre by such groups as the British Legion and the Women’s Institute.  The Hall was administered by Cookham Rural District Council.  Charge to the British Legion was £5.0s.0d (£5.00) per year! 

View of Hurley Village Hall sign in sunny skies
Silver plaque for Big Lottery Fund on brickwork

In 1954 the property was “decommissioned”. The building was acquired on behalf of the village and the Hurley Village Association was formed with the purpose of “social intercourse, mutual helpfulness and rational recreation”. The price was £2000 and a mortgage of £800 was arranged.

In 1976 the part of the hall facing the High Street was burned down and smoke damaged rendered the building unusable. The hall was rebuilt in 1978, largely in the style of the original building.  A Grand Review in December 1978 celebrated the reopening of the hall.

The Hall continues to flourish and act as a centre for village and other activities, not least as the Polling Station at election time. Ongoing maintenance and development is supported largely through lettings income and fundraising.

Historical Summary courtesy of David Burfitt, Peter Fieldhouse and Caroline Stanford.


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