The history of Glyn Hall.

Margaret Henrietta Glyn was the last of the Glyn dynasty. The story of the Glyn family seems to start in the early 1400’s. They were an aristocratic family that influenced the Church, history and geography of Ewell village.

Margaret Henrietta Glyn was born in 1865, the second daughter of Sir George Glyn and the last of a long line of Glyn’s, Margaret was an accomplished musician, composer and writer.  Her accomplishments included six symphonies, six orchestral suites, two overtures, organ music and many songs.

Margaret was an avid local campaigner, she purchased Hatch Furlong to try and prevent the construction of the Ewell by-pass which did not succeed. Margaret was also instrumental in saving the grounds of Bourne Hall of from the developers.

Margaret inherited the Rectory from her brother Arthur when he died and later sold it to Surrey County Council. It was renamed Glyn House and converted into a centre for education and conferences (the above information was gained from the book Ewell Past by Charles Abdy)

The precise age of Glyn Hall is not known but it is thought to have been built between 1866 and 1894. Archived records show that during this time Margaret’s father Sir Arthur, had a small wooden building built for Margaret to practise her music and although it cannot be certified it is thought that this building was the original to the little green hut that now stands at 3a Cheam Road.

Shortly before Margaret died she put her little room into the care of Ewell Adult School. The hall had adopted a new name “the Parochial Room”, this was a place that was used to promote education and wellbeing within the community of Ewell village.  In her will Margaret left the Parochial Room in trust to be used for education and similar purposes. As a user of the Parochial Room the Ewell Adult School was asked to put forward four trustees to administer the property. In 1961 Ewell Adult School relinquished their trustee ship and gave the hall over to the community. New trustees were appointed and the Parochial Room became Glyn Hall and was registered with the charity commission as Ewell Village Hall – Registered charity 305031.

The above information was gained from publications researched and written by Charles Abby to which we are extremely grateful.

From 1961 to the present day Glyn Hall was maintained and administered by this small group of dedicated people. The building was repaired and re-painted over many years and this was financed entirely from funds raised from lettings and still remains a non-profit charity serving the local community. However, if we take the earliest date of construction as 1866 then in theory the little green hut is around 158 years old. Built from a timber frame using ordinary timber directly onto the bare earth and covered in timber cladding with a tin roof, the trustees down the years worked hard patching the little green hut together for the benefit of the community.

Back in 2008 a planning application was submitted to the local Council to demolish the existing building and build a new structure. Planning permission was granted but lack of funding meant the project was not progressed.

Fast forward to 2019-20 and the Covid pandemic. The country was locked down in March 2020 and as a result Glyn Hall was mothballed. The little hall was only just clinging on to the description of a usable space for the community but 18 months of no use had taken its toll. With no heating or ventilation the hall became cold and damp; the atmosphere was musty and smelt of mould.

It would be fair to say that the then trustees had done all they could but this was something that could not be overcome with paint and patches, the closure had taken its toll on the already outdated space and was the final straw for the building and it was no longer fit for purpose confirmed by a RICS survey deeming that it has reached its end of life.

In the early part of 2021 the trustees had to face the sad reality that they only way forward was to consider selling the hall and land to a developer and transfer the funds to another local charity with  similar objects. Assets were being removed and the process to close was started.

Around April 2121 a local resident, Alison Price, was campaigning to start a Ewell Village 12 month challenge which involved getting local residents and organisations together who were willing to volunteer their time and energy to make the village a better place to be.  Lifting the spirits of the local community. As the first tentative signs started to appear that the constraints of being locked down may finally be starting to ease a small group of residents gathered together with a will to inspire others to become involved.

During a walk around the village with representatives of the Epsom and Ewell u3a and Alison the small group happened upon Glyn Hall. Alison was asked about the hall and its future and she explained that it was no longer a viable building and was being sold off to the developers.

After a discussion with Alison it was agreed that a meeting should be arranged between the u3a and the existing trustees in order to ascertain if anything could be done to save the hall.

The meeting took place a short time afterwards were it was generally agreed that the hall had served the community well down the years but it was time to let it go. Repairs were not practical, but with enough local support and funding a new building may be possible. It was on that very day that the fate and future of this little building that had stood the test of time in so many ways changed once again.

The Legacy.

You may recall that Margaret Glyn left her little music room to trustees and this trusteeship was defended well when it came to Lea Henry (Margaret’s Executor) challenging her will after her death. The presiding judge ruled against lea Henry stating that as it had been left to the trust to administer it was not part of the Margaret’s estate.

Margaret did not leave the little green hut to the community, she left what may have been her little music room, later to become the Parochial Room.  The name was changed to Glyn Hall when it became Registered charity: Ewell Village Hall 305031 as a way of honouring Margaret Glyn’s legacy.

It’s this legacy that the new trustees are defending, the little green hut has reached its end of life but the legacy that was given to the community lives on and must be guarded by the community for future generations to use and enjoy.