The original building

The Jubilee Hall was built in 1936 and opened on 1st January 1937. The site was purchased from the Church for £220 and the building cost about £2,100. Some 200 chairs costing an additional £200 were bought with loans, and there was further expenditure of £80. The National Council of Social Service gave a grant of £350 and lent £500 interest-free, with a requirement to repay £100 a year.

Local subscriptions and fundraising raised £1,517: about two-thirds of the cost. It is difficult to translate the figure into today's money, but wages have increased 150-fold since 1936, which indicates that in today's terms some £230,000 was raised locally.The four largest sums raised were from:

      Mr G. Hayter-Hames                         £ 165

      Gideon Webber Trust                        £ 163

      Chagford Rectory Fete 1936             £ 152

      Mrs A.F. Flower                           £105

Six months after opening it was reported that the Hall had paid its way and had a small balance of £2.11s 5d. There had been 13 dances in that time and the Hall had been used 74 times in those 6 months. Today, the Hall is used over 50 times a month.

From the outset, the Hall incorporated a 'Reading Room'  which in due course became a Devon County Council branch library, and remains so. 

There are few records or recollections available about the Hall's first fifty years, other than that in the 1950s the fairly cheap wooden roof shingles had to be replaced with slates.


The building remained largely unchanged until 1991 when, partially assisted by a legacy from the late Harry Rihll, it was extended with a flat-roofed extension at the rear to expand the Library space with the added 'Rihll Room', and provide improved toilets. During the 1990s the original metal-and-canvas stacking chairs were gradually replaced, and in 1995 the building was further extended at the side to provide the large kitchen.

Around 2007 the Trustees of Chagford Jubilee Hall (CJH) began thinking about a major rebuilding project and held consultations with the various user groups over the next couple of years.

From this exercise, there was an identified need to create a new entrance foyer and bar including toilets at the front of the Hall and the community was in desperate need of having an updated Library along with a space to house the History Archive, which was, until then, scattered around the town. In addition, the kitchen and heating system were in desperate need of modernisation, and the iconic roof Cupola needed to be made weatherproof.

In 2012, a number of local architects were approached and asked to present their ideas of how this could best be achieved, and after a rigorous selection process Deacon and Richardson Architects was selected, mainly due to the fact that their scheme was innovative by extending on the front and side of the existing Hall.

The funds required to fulfil this ambitious scheme were estimated to be in the order of £450,000 and after considerable searching the HB Allen Trust was located and approached for support. The HBA Trustees eventually (and hugely generously) supported the project with grants of £420000. The Heritage Lottery Fund was approached to support the provision of the History Archive/Heritage Centre and they approved funding of £15,000 to carry out these works.

Following a successful planning application, a number of local building contractors were invited to tender for the work and Jeffrey and Pengelly, based in Okehampton, were selected.

Work began in July 2016 and the main building work was completed in December 2017, on time and on budget.

The Trustees wish to express their thanks to the H B Allen Trust for their generous support of the project and to the (pro bono volunteer) Project Team of Mr Alan Deacon (Architect) and Dr Roger Stokes (former Chairman of CJH and main fundraiser).