Druitt Hall Community Association - Logo
The hall in the heart of the town

Christchurch's Permanent Commemoration of the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Druitt Hall - High Street - Christchurch - Dorset - BH23 1AB

Availability / Bookings Enquiries: See below or email bookings@druitthall.org.uk or call 07934 912672

Druitt Hall History

Druitt Hall was built with public subscription in 1953 by Christchurch Housing Society
on land owned by Hampshire County Council in Druitt Gardens, the intention being to commemorate the Coronation.

The Royal British Legion presented a clock, still in use today inside the hall.
Early use of the hall was for a regular 'Evergreen Club' for older folk

The hall also became the local 'HQ' of the Christchurch Red Cross for meetings and training.

The land was transferred in 1974 to Dorset County Council who entered into a lease with
Christchurch Housing Society 'for the purposes of a club and welfare centre . .'.

This arrangement continued after the transfer of the gardens to Christchurch Borough Council in 2006.
In 2011 the Society notified the Council that they wished to terminate this arrangement.
The Council took over the management of the hall, with 7 regular users. They resolved not to allow any new users.

A survey undertaken by the Council established that the building was 'fit to continue to be let' and
'complies with health and safety legislation'.
The building was described as 'tired and lacking any substantial planned maintenance in recent years' and 'basically sound'.
It was noted that a DDA-compliant entry and toilet was required.

The short video below shows the exterior condition of the hall in 2012, before DHCA took on the lease, can be viewed on our History (Druitt Hall) page.
The views expressed in the video are those of the original author and refer to the previous landlord.

A more-recent video about a visit to Druitt Gardens (pre-dating 2023 work to the windows and cladding),
can be found on this very website, here under Location.

It was noted that strong local opinion had been expressed that the building should be retained
pending the development of a replacement'.

In 2012 an application to demolish Druitt Hall was submitted by Christchurch Borough Council to its own planning department.
If approved, demolition would have followed soon after the proposed closure at the end of March 2013.
The scheme claimed that it would allow the land to become 'community space' to improve the view
into Druitt Gardens from the High Street.

The Friends of Druitt Hall fought hard to save the hall and in 2014,
after much work by Christchurch Citizens Association and many others,
the Council granted a 3-year Lease to Druitt Hall Community Association CIO.

In September 2014 the hall was 're-launched' sporting a newly-painted interior and exterior, new ladies toilets
and a sanded and re-varnished floor.
The Hall was transformed, inviting, loved and became very well-used.
A further lease of 10 years was agreed in 2017.

Since 2014 the toilets have all been rebuilt with a DDA-compliant toilet being added, a new fitted kitchen installed,
electrical upgrades carried out, new hot water systems added, a meeting room formed,
a DDA-compliant entrance added and insulation improved.
External walls have been insulated and cladding renewed and the original windows brought back into 'almost-new' condition.

Together with some small grants this has been funded from hire income and the use of dedicated volunteers' time.

The hall and gardens transferred to Christchurch Town Council in 2019, whose support as landlord has been much appreciated.

An area at the rear of the building, formerly occupied by an extension (the 'Markham Room'), is occupied on a continuing-hire basis
by the Friends of Druitt Gardens and has been transformed into a Wildlife Education Area.

Local clubs and societies regularly book the main hall. In 2022 the use of the hall averaged 34 hours per week.

Christchurch Central WI returned in 2014 to their first home and continue to meet on the 1st Wednesday of each month.

Following an independent report in 2021, Christchurch Town Council resolved to allow DHCA an extension of 30 years
to the-then current lease. This is to run from 2027 but to be in place before then, thus opening the way for grant applications for
further improvements to be made to the facility

The unique history of the hall has been acknowledged by the Prefab Museum on their website, here.

Christchurch Town Council have granted Druitt Hall Community Association a 30-year extension to the lease, to run from 2027.

See also the hall’s noticeboards for news and events.