History

St Anne’ Hall was built in 1883 following a gift of £2000 from Miss Elizabeth Bertie-Mathew.

First opened in 1884 to provide a place of relaxation for the working men of Babbacombe.

Elizabeth Bertie-Mathew was a regular visitor from London and worshipped at All Saints Church in Babbacombe.  The 1881 Census showed her address as Wilton Crescent, St George Hanover Square in London.

She visited Babbacombe often and took an interest in the welfare of the working men of the parish.

The Hall was designed by Mr Fulford of Exeter and built by a local man F Matthews. The building is Grade 2 listed and is a good example of 19th Century composition in late decorated Arts & Crafts style, constructed in local limestone with the window surrounds, mullions and decorative banding in hamstone.

St Annes Hall is in fact one of the oldest Arts & Craft designed Halls in Devon.  The Torquay Directory reported on the opening ceremony “the workingmen of Babbacombe have just had provided for their use an Institute at which they can spend their spare hours, with the advantage of reading the news, enjoying various pastimes and with facilities for securing refreshments of a non intoxicating kind”.

The Parish Church continued to administer the use of the building until January 2002 when they built a new hall situated alongside the church, and St Anne’s Hall became derelict and unused. A group of four Trustees took over the ownership with the intention of using it for the community, and it has since been refurbished with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.