Restoration to Present Day (1908 - Today)
The Lord's rent was extinguished in 1935 with agreement between the parties for a 20 year purchase payment of 13/4 to achieve this: 2 manors x 4d x 20 years = 13 shillings and 4 pence or around £33 in today’s money.
In WWll the War Office requisitioned the building as a canteen for soldiers manning the Quantock Hills searchlight batteries. After the war, Church House became a village hall again, where for some years midday meals were served to Crowcombe village schoolchildren.
The local authority demolished the adjacent cottages in 1963 and built the car park as part of a road widening scheme. The work exposed the south east wall of Church House requiring significant structural work to that end of the building. This was undertaken that same year, with re-roofing of SE side completed in 1981.
In 1995 a much improved staircase replaced the original. The original posed many practical problems for hirers. It was very steep and was covered by a hatch that required lifting to gain access to the Gallery – quite difficult whilst carrying trays of food and drink. The plan for its replacement was that it should be fitted with a stair-lift for the elderly and infirm. However, this ambition was vetoed by the Fire Service.
In 2008 we achieved an £80,000 internal refurbishment of the building through a combination of local fund raising and grants from the Foyle Foundation, the Garfield Foundation, Viridor Credits, Quantock Hills AONB, Somerset County Council, Somerset Rural Renaissance Partnership and West Somerset Council, to install:
- Two WCs, including one for the disabled
- Oil central heating
- New lighting throughout including specialist lighting for art exhibitions
- Comprehensive furnishing and equipping of the Servery
2016 Conservation Works
In 2016 we completed a major external fabric conservation project:
- 100% lime mortar re-pointing of the entire building
- Structural work to the parapet flashings and stone coping
- Stitching of the masonry on the NW corner of the building
- New cast iron guttering and down-pipes
This required raising another £80,000, again achieved through generous support from the village and grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Pilgrims trust, Garfield Weston, Foyle Foundation and the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
- Somerset Heritage Centre D/P/Crow/8/3/3