History of the Hall

Bishops Nympton’s new Parish Hall has been built to replace the old hall, originally built in 1934 and more recently sold to the Primary School. The hall was showing signs of ageing and had become too small for the needs of the Parish.

Fundraising has been ongoing for some 20 years and after several unsuccessful attempts to acquire capital funding for a new hall, it fell to the generosity of two Parish residents to enable us to cut the first turf in July 2010 when building began in earnest.

The Parish Hall committee are delighted to announce that the long awaited new Parish Hall has now been built and is ready to provide Bishops Nympton and the surrounding area a superb opportunity for the whole community to benefit from this stunning building. The Parish Hall is unique in that it comprises the Bishops Nympton Community Shop and Post Office together with a private consulting room, Main Hall, the Dennis Gunn Room, Kitchen, toilet facilities and a Community Office. Ample parking is available and a lawned terrace is available for outdoor use. The Hall has been built in a mixture of stone and wood and tastefully finished to a very high standard. To fit in with the locality the car parking has been located to the lower and upper side of the hall enabling unrestricted views over the beautiful rolling North Devon hills. This has been enlarged to accommodate 100 vehicles.

The Hall is situated to the north of the pretty village of Bishops Nympton, some 2.5 miles from the market town of South Molton, the “Gateway to Exmoor”. Access from the A361 main trunk road into North Devon from the M5 motorway is straight forward and a short five minute drive to the hall from Bish Mill.

Bishops Nympton village boasts a wealth of facilities which include a Primary School for 4-11 year olds, “Little Owls” Pre-School, a Parish Church, Methodist Chapel, a newly opened Children’s playground area and various local clubs (details available here).

We are all very proud of our new hall and welcome you to our website. It is currently in its infancy and if you would like to see any further details added please contact us via email from the Contact page.

Our Hall has been planned for a considerable period and during this time there have been many obstacles to overcome. Overcome is how we feel as a committee now that we can present our beautiful new hall to you.

Initial funding for this project was made possible by the generosity of local resident, Bill Dart, together with proceeds from the sale of the old hall to the village primary school. Further funding was awarded and the project was given the green light from NDDC Planning and Highways.

The Parish Hall build commenced with a turf cutting ceremony on the 2nd July 2010 by Mrs Frances Gunn, wife of the late Dennis Gunn who was a major instigator of this project, as well as serving as Parish Hall Chairman for some 30 years. A local farmer and parish councillor, Dennis was well-known throughout the locality and as a small thank you to his endeavours the current committee felt it right to name a room in the hall after him.

Once the turf was cut, local builders, A & G Setherton, commenced works at the top of the village on ground kindly donated by local farmer, Arthur Bawden, to build Bishops Nympton a new parish hall.

The timber frame and roofing was achieved during a mild, dry autumn but the groundworks came to a halt during heavy November snow. By February 2011 the building had windows and external doors and internal works then commenced. The Photovoltaic panels were installed in March and were up and running in April. Electricity from these panels will be sold to the National Grid, creating a source of income for the hall. During the rest of April and May works continued and the opening day of 3rd June soon arrived.

We have received the majority of funding for this project from a wide range of sources which include:-

  • Leader-4
  • Community Council of Devon
  • Bishops Nympton Parish Council
  • South Molton Town Council
  • North Devon District Council
  • Devon County Council
  • Sale proceeds from old hall and private land
  • Corporate Donations including Mole Valley Farmers, Norbord and Ashgrove Kitchens
  • Individual donations

Firstly we would like to thank Bill Dart, the Bawden family and Eric Ley for getting this project off the ground, without their support we would not have achieved this hall.

Secondly to thank Alan and Gary Setherton, our builders, who have transformed a few drawings into the magnificent Parish Hall that we see today. Without their hard work and dedication this feat would not have been possible.

A huge thank you to the Parish Hall Committee Members, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to organise and host the numerous fundraising events over the last 20 years. Some of which included clay shoots, themed dinners, bingos, sponsored walks, abseiling, buy a brick, 200 Club and travel outings, other fund days and for their endless enthusiasm and hard work during this project.

Thank you also to the local and wider community for supporting the fundraising for the Parish Hall and we look forward to welcoming them to the many future events we will be holding in our new hall.

Further improvements have been made since official opening.

The car park has been significantly extended.

A storage shed built.

The storage rooms at the rear of the hall taken down and a new section added.

A beautiful oak bar with slate top installed.

A Community Club has been built at the rear of the hall using 106 Funding Open Space Funding from the Capital Farm Development and Local Authority Funding.

A bronze bust of local Exmoor wildlife expert Johnny Kingdom has been erected outside.