Something of a local landmark, what we refer to as the Bartholomew Room was built in 1701 as a school. It stands in the Market Square at the heart of Eynsham and has been a focal point at every season of the year for centuries, presiding over a calendar that includes Eynsham Morris dance on May Day, Eynsham Artweeks, Eynsham Carnival, Eynsham Flower Festival, Remembrance Sunday and the Christmas lights.
The Parish Council acquired the building in 1983 and used the space for meetings. Recently, we re-located to the Village Hall (where we also have an office) to provide a more accessible meeting venue and allow for renovations on the historic property, more details of which are below.
Hire of The Square for a stall or exhibit can be booked (free of charge) by contacting Rachel Johnson. The Bartholomew Room is not available to hire at the current time.
For more information on the history of the Bartholomew Room - and its role in today's community life - visit Eynsham Online.
Bartholomew Room Refurbishment Project
A condition survey of the building was undertaken in January 2018 which highlighted the need for some essential maintenance and recommended re-arrangement of the kitchen and toilet on the lower floor to allow ease of use for disabled persons. It’s taken time to meet contractors to consider exactly what work is needed (structural survey, asbestos survey etc) and to consider how it might be funded. The building has undergone various one-off maintenance tasks since it was purchased in 1983, however this project will ensure the building stands in good stead for many years to come.
A Project Manager has been appointed to pursue a planning application, draft a Schedule of Works and produce other key documents and reports. The project will cost in the region of £125,000. A Public Works Loan / West Oxfordshire District Council Loan for £100,000 will be sought (our article in issue 41 of the Eynsham News refers) and we will also apply for community grants.
Project Update (1 April 2021)
The project started well with the re-arrangement of the kitchen/toilet on the lower floor and various repairs. Unexpectedly, damp has been discovered on the Upper Flooor - the Project Manager and Council were previously aware of a damp problem on the Lower Floor only. On closer inspection of the guttering (originally thought to be water source) and the roof, problems were found with faulty (very old) roof tiles and a badly eroded chimney.
The Council has resolved to use the services of an independent Quantity Surveyor to assess the costs of this additional work (for audit and accountability purposes) and pursue replacement of the tiles/roofing felt. We are currently awaiting confirmation from the Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government that the Council is able to borrow the additional money (thereby bringing the project total to c. £200,000) and approval from the Public Works Loan Board for the new loan arrangement. The additional costs will not require an increase in precept/Council Tax.
We are aware that residents would like to make full use of The Square and the scaffolding is impacting on this, however the work will be undertaken as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Project Update (2 June 2021)
With additional funding now in place, the building work will recommence from 7 June 2021. Bat and Swift surveys have been undertaken - these are available in the downloads section.
Project Update (19 October 2021)
Work is now at snagging phase. The project will be complete within the next 2 weeks.
Project Completion (23 May 2022)
The final phase of the work included new fuse boards and electricity cupboards to ensure the building is up to current standards. This marks the completion of the project. The Council is now considering how the community can continue to use the building going forward.