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St Edmund's Hall


Until the early years of the 20th century, the road was mainly referred to as Church Green, as in the 1911 census.







The Earl of Stradbroke lays the foundation stone in February to the accompaniment of what the Lowestoft Journal describes as a 'biting snowstorm' and the hymn 'O God our Help...' gallantly sung by the Church Choir.
The vicar, the Rev. R N Pyke, speaks of the 'urgent need of a Parish Hall for Southwold' which has a current population of 3000. The total cost of the hall, including fixtures and fittings, is estimated to be just over £2,550, much of which will be raised by public fund-raising and interest-free private loans with an additional loan from the diocese of £500.

The Hall, which has been constructed by local builder, Hubert Palfrey, is opened in August this year. In the event it is £200 over budget.

In the early hours of Friday 16 May the hall is severely damaged by an incendiary bomb. The commemorative plaque (shown right) has the date erroneously as 1942.


Rebuilt hall is opened.





A two-storey front extension with foyer and meeting rooms above is opened.




Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

Hubert Palfrey's building team

Builder Hubert Palfrey (centre front with trilby hat) and his team photographed in front of the newly completed hall in August 1934.
Photo courtesy of Hubert Palfrey's daughter, Sheila Miller.
Click on picture to enlarge

1934 advertisement for Palfreys announcing the completion of St Edmund's Hall ahead of schedule.

Image courtesy of David Baker

Click to enlarge

Interior of St Edmund's Hall in the 1930s.Reproduced from a postcard in the collection of Southwold Museum.
Click on picture to enlarge.

Two commemorative stones in St Edmund's Hall. The year the hall was bombed is given as 1942 although contemporary accounts date the event to the early hours of Friday May 16 1941.

The cast of ''Mary Rose' 'in 1938. It was produced by Christopher Rowan-Robinson who, after the war, would be instrumental in persuading the St Edmund's Church Council to rebuild the hall as a theatre with wings, dressing rooms and proper lighting.