November 1923 - A look back in time

100 years of history Deverell Hall

John Deverell - Lord of Farlington Manor

1923 Deverell Hall - The history of our hall

This page was last updated on: 26 November 2023

The history of Deverell Hall located in Purbrook, Waterlooville, goes way back in time over 100 years ago. Built in 1923, Deverell Hall is surrounded by interesting events of a time nearly long forgotten. It began with John Deverell who was the Lord of the Manor of Farlington.

Born 29th March 1800, Lord John Deverell went on to challenge the clergy of the day. He died 6th November 1880. As we arrive at 100 years of Deverell Hall being built, we look back in time at what happened, and when, in the parish of Purbrook Hampshire.

John Deverell had been involved in disagreements with the local Anglican clergy over the types of service offered in the various churches. These were the years following the Oxford Movement in the Church of England and many clergy were trying to introduce more colour and ritual into their churches, often against the wishes of their patron, bishop, and parishioners. John Deverell had gone so far as to erect a private chapel in which services were conducted according to his own wishes by a clergyman with only a tenuous link with the Church of England. His funding of Christ Church Portsdown Hill, was thus seen as a further means of controlling worship in his own parish.

John Deverell was responsible for building the first school in Purbrook in 1839, which was completely and fully opened by 1844. The school remained in the Deverell family until 1919, and then around the 1920's to help fund other projects (including Deverell Hall) the school and its land was sold on to the county authorities. Today, we know this school as Purbrook Park School.

In 1924, the then school opened as "Purbrook Park County High School". The school quickly became very popular and well respected, and an extensive building programme began. The refurbished and much improved school hall was built in 1928, with their first school gymnasium opened in 1935.

A message from our Bookings Secretary

  1. Doug

    Doug McPhail

    Bookings Secretary

    The information presented on this page is to the best of our knowledge correct, however if you have other historical facts that you find that differ from this content, or you would like to add some more details, then please let us know.

    On the front of the building, there are 10 flagstones which were put in when Deverell Hall was first built. These stones bore inscriptions of the people that laid them. Looking at the front of the building, and reading from left to right, we have so far established this list:

    1. ?
    2. ?
    3. FW ?
    4. J.R.C. Deverell Esq
    5. Mary Gauntlett
    6. Miss Karin ?
    7. Lady Campbell
    8. Mr & Mrs Alfred Fielder
    9. Mr Ward Cousins
    10. Mrs Mansel-Jones

    I have many images stored here on my computer, so when I get more time, I will look through the older images and hopefully between you and us, we can find the names of the people who were inscribed on these original flagstones!

Friday 11th May 1923

A Public Hall for Purbrook

In the early part of the 1920's, there was an urgent need for a suitable hall for social purposes in Purbrook. The country was just not long out of World War I, and people needed each other more than ever. Through the generosity of the late Lady Campbell who presented a site on the main London Road, the Trustees could now look forward to the building works of the proposed Deverell Hall.

The trustees received tenders from four different building firms and decided to accept the one from Messrs. Clear and Sons, Purbrook, for £1,575. Public meetings followed to discuss the plans for the new hall, and how the building would be constructed.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

Saturday 2nd June 1923

Construction works began in June

Having secured the contract for building works, Clear and Sons, local builders started work on the construction of the new Deverell Hall in Purbrook. The first things included clearing the site, and laying of foundations and initial groundworks.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

Friday 22nd June 1923

Extract from the original deeds

From an extract of the original deeds, it was all officially signed off. At that time Purbrook was considered part of the county of Southampton! The documents now formally recognised and acknowledged that a new community hall would be built.

Extract Original Deeds for Deverell Hall 1919

Thursday 16th August 1923

Metal girders put in place

With foundations already in place, rapid progress was now being made with the erection of the new village institute Deverell Hall in Purbrook. Metal principals were being placed across the walls, in position for the building of the roof.

Searching through historical information found, originally the roof would have had 4 large skylights to let sun in from above. These were removed at some time in the past, and all that remains to indicate they were once there, is 4 squares visible from the inside of the building, as you look up.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

Monday 19th November 1923

A Public Hall for Purbrook

Historical documents show the residents of Purbrook were getting eagerly excited to attend the opening of the new Deverell Hall. Looking back on digitalised newspaper clippings, we think this took place on Saturday 24th November 1923. However, the silver key to the property, was as we understand, presented to the Trustees on the Monday 19th, at a formal gathering and opening of the hall on that day.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

Saturday 24th November 1923

Grand Opening of Deverell Hall

Is the date we commemorate as the official opening of Deverell Hall in Purbrook. It was on this date opened by the grand-daughter Mrs.Mansel-Jones of the late John Deverell, who herself, was at that time a Justice of the Peace.

A huge number of influential residents living in the parish and neighbourhood were expected to attend the official opening day, including amongst others Mr. G. A. Gauntlett. For those of you who may not know who he was, he went onto create a local milk delivery company called Gauntlett & Walkers Dairies formed in 1958.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

Around the 1920's

General History of Purbrook, Waterlooville & Portsmouth

The initial settlement of Purbrook seems to have not much recorded history prior to the 17th century. However, the locality was named "Pukebrook" by the 13th century, and in 1710 was then called Purbeck Heath.

The name Purbeck Heath means "The Brook of the Water Sprite", and its a fair assumption that the present village takes its name from an area rather than a settlement, that is Purbrook, the land around the Purbrook, was so-called before there were people actually living there.

100 years of history Deverell Hall Purbrook

If you have further information about the Deverell Hall all those years ago, please do contact us. We'd love to know more:

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What's Happening

At Deverell Hall in Purbrook we host a wide range of regular groups who use the facilities. Here are just a selection of just a few of them.