Built in 1890, when Orpington was not much more than a sleepy main street settlement, the original Orpington Village Hall was given to the inhabitants of Orpington by the late Alfred Brown, Esq. It was placed under the administration of a Trust to be held for the welfare of the Village.
Originally situated at the end of the High Street, the building housed a concert hall with a seating capacity of about 350, a billiard room and small committee rooms, together with kitchen and toilet facilities.
During the first and second World Wars, Orpington Village Hall supported its community as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) hospital, general mustering point, reception for refugees and a rest centre for local residents made homeless in the Blitz. After the second World War the halls continued their role in the community as a meeting place and the social centre of Orpington.
In 1962 the original building was severely damaged by fire and had to be demolished. In the following years, the old site was sold and a new site was established on what is now the current site. The ‘New Village Hall’ was eventually completed, after a hiatus of twenty years, in 1982 and continued to serve the local community. In 2008 the ‘New Village Hall’ was demolished to accommodate the multi-purpose (commercial and residential) complex we know and love today.
We are currently working on a History Project to showcase all our stories and pictures from over 120 years of Orpington Village Hall and hope to be able to unveil this in the halls before our 10 year anniversary (in our current site!) this October 2020.