MEM22219 - Village Hall, Porlock (Building)


The village hall was thought to be built to designs by CFA Voysey but is by Roberts and Willman Architects, Taunton in 1925. A stone incorporated into the front porch was laid by Mary, Countess of Lovelace.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

The Village Hall described by Pevsner as “quite a plain uninteresting building” is nevertheless a late work by Charles F Annesley Voysey who was active in the area later in life, mainly on the estate of Lord Lovelace. The clean style, with deep recessed entrance forming a chamfered segmental arched porch under a gabled roof, and use of Cornish slate brought to hip, are typical Voysey features. [1, 2] D Corner suggests the village hall was opened in 1925. [3] A large sandstone block is incorporated into the front porch and inscribed "27th JUNE 1925 / MARY / COUNTESS / OF / LOVELACE / LAID THIS STONE". The inscription is eroded in places. [4] CFA Voysey created plans for a village hall at Porlock on 30 May 1912. The designs included single main hall, with a stage over a basement area on the eastern end, and a front porch on the western side. The building was crenellated. It has been suggested that the extant village hall was not built to this design but possibly to one by Lady Lovelace. Lady Mary Lovelace was the second wife of the 2nd Earl of Lovelace. Mary Caroline, born 1848 and died 1941, eldest daughter of Rt Hon James Stuart-Wortley. She would have been 77 when she laid the foundation stone for the village hall, which is borne out by the photograph taken of the event. It is not clear who designed the hall but it could have been the Minehead based architect Tamlyn, who designed the new Methodist Chapel opened in 1927. [6,7] The First Edition of Pevsner's "South and West Somerset" Edition of the Buildings of England series states that the village hall is by Voysey and is "quite a plain uninteresting building". He does, however, note later that "it is said that Lady Lovelace herself was quite capable of designs in Voysey's style and spirit" [2]. The updated 2014 Edition of the book states that the roughcast village hall dates to 1925 and is "Voysey-style, by Roberts & Willman", with the right half (or southern part) being the original fabric. [8] The original approved plans for the village hall are held in Somerset Heritage Centre. They are dated 24 March 1925 and were created by FW Roberts RIBA and JH Willman RIBA, Architects based in Taunton. [9] Voysey designed a village hall for Porlock in 1912. It was of stone, with crenellated parapets and "adorned with the statue of an angel". The hall was not built. [10] The heritage asset was assessed for inclusion on the Exmoor Local Heritage List in November 2022. It was decided to add the asset to the Local Heritage List. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Porlock: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. p21, 22.
  • <2> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. p275, 276.
  • <3> Monograph: Corner, Dennis. 1992. Porlock in Those Days. Exmoor Books. p83.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information.
  • <5> Report: Pratt, N.. 2013. Porlock Conservation Area: Appraisal Document. Exmoor National Park Authority. 44, 78, Figure 50.
  • <6> Website: Theuerkauf, H.. 2019. Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941). 1912: Design for a village hall, Porlock, Somerset..
  • <7> Unpublished document: Haw, G.. 2019. Online HER Contact Form Submission.
  • <8> Monograph: Orbach, J. and Pevsner, N.. 2014. The Buildings of England: Somerset - South and West. Yale University Press. 527.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Porlock Village Hall Committee. 1925. Village Hall, Porlock.
  • <10> Monograph: Hitchmough, W.. 1995. C F A Voysey. Phaidon Press Ltd. 1. p208.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Dove, C.. 2022. Exmoor LHL Panel Meeting 28 November 2022. Exmoor National Park Authority.

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Other Statuses/References

  • Local Heritage List Status (Listed)



Grid reference Centred SS 2884 1468 (24m by 25m)
Map sheet SS21SE

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Record last edited

Dec 13 2023 1:27PM


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