St Hilary Parish Church resolved at the end of 2008 to tackle the much-needed restoration of the Old School, beside the church, which had been disused for many years. In response to aspirations contained in the Marazion and District Forum Community Plan for a higher profile for local history, language and culture, the idea took shape of creating, as well as a new hall for church and community use, a small Heritage Centre in which to interpret and exhibit the story of this remarkable area.
Because the task was somewhat daunting it was decided to proceed in phases, the first being to stabilise the building so that it ceased to deteriorate. This involved re-roofing, renewing windows and repointing the stonework. Phase two, now nearing completion, involves replacing the upper floor supports and completely fitting out the lower storey and installing catering and toilet facilities. Phase three, early in 2011, will equip and establish the Heritage Room (on the ground floor) under the direction of research curator, Dr Joanna Mattingly. The Grand Opening should be in March or April 2011. A new Local History Group is being set up, based in the Old School, with membership reaching beyond St Hilary parish to reflect the shared history of the Mount’s Bay area, with a remit to develop local history research and to oversee access to theHeritage Centre by members of the public.
The main hall will be available for hire early in the new year, for goup activities or private functions. Details of hire and opportunities to view the restored building will soon be available. Those wanting to register an interest in using the hall should contact Joanna Craven on 01736-762548 and anyone wishing to know more about the Local History group should ring Owen Baker on 01326-560970. Donations in support of the Project would be welcomed by the Treasurer, David Ball, since there is still a slight shortfall in the funding. David may be contacted on 01736-763628.