A £300,000 project to refurbish Warkton’s village hall has won an award.
Kettering Civic Society’s annual Rose Bowl award has been presented to the Duke of Buccleuch for work on the historic building.
The project was financed by the Duke’s Boughton Estate, with some funding from Kettering Council, and the work was undertaken by the estate’s own building team.
The Rose Bowl, an annual award which recognises outstanding building, street or landscape projects, was presented by the society’s president, Lady Freeman, at a reception on Tuesday (July 17) attended by the mayor and mayoress of Kettering along with villagers and users of the hall.
The Duke said: “This award is recognition of their work and attention to detail in sympathetically modernising the hall to a high standard whilst maintaining its character.
“As people from Kettering are already discovering, this is not just a hub for the immediate community but the perfect venue in a beautiful nearby village for all manner of events and activities.”
He also commended the Village Hall Committee and its chair, Hazel Woolsey, for their vital role in overseeing the hall and events within it.
The renovation has given the village landmark, which was built in 1867 as a school by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, a fresh lease of life.
A new kitchen and toilets have been installed and the historic roof timbers opened up with new decoration and lighting throughout.
Paul Ansell, the society’s chairman, commended the way in which the historic building had been restored and fitted out for community use and highlighted the exceptional craftsmanship throughout especially in the work on the striking Collyweston slate roof.
The building remained as a school until 1961 and at least one of the former pupils, renowned local historian Alan Toseland, attended the reception.
A small exhibition telling the story of almost a century of schooling with documents and photographs of the pupils and their teachers, the earliest of which dates back to 1902, is to be created.
Also present were some of the hall users including members of the Warkton WI, the local photographic society and the Kettering Dog Training Club who normally use it on Tuesday nights as a base for their classes.