THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS

Refurbishment of the Rooms

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The Rooms before RefurbishmentIn 1997 the trustees of the Hewitt Memorial Fund commissioned the architects, Purcell Miller Tritton to advise how the Hall could be repaired and improved to provide better facilities for the village. A detailed survey of the building identified serious structural defects in the existing building and the need for extensive refurbishment to meet the recommendations of current fire, safety and disabled access regulations. The refurbishment works were made possible by generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Colchester Borough Council and villagers.

The building had been refurbished in 1908 and was renamed the Hewitt Memorial Hall in 1915. At the end of the nineteenth-century it had become very dilapidated and the main hall had been subdivided into small rooms. William Hewitt of Lower Park, Dedham, purchased and renovated the Hall in memory of his brother James. The building was transferred by Deed of Covenant to the Vicar of Dedham as the sole managing trustee. William Hewitt died in 1927 and provided in his will that a fund should be established with a capital sum of Ł3,500 to be held by the Charity Commissioners. The Churchwardens and Vicar of Dedham were appointed as co-trustees of the Hewitt Memorial Fund.

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