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(Taken and adapted from an article written by Mr D Picton-Jones, a local resident)


The main building at the Curdridge Reading Room dates back to 1884.


Many villages and communities have halls or community centres but a “Reading Room” is perhaps a little more unusual.  In many ways a village Reading Room captured the spirit of the Victorian age. We do not have all the evidence to support this, but it is likely that the Curdridge Reading Room was equipped with a library including newspapers where locals could sit and read. There may have been a small charge. Meeting neighbours and friends there would invariably become part of the experience. A supply of books would be maintained, perhaps by donations from individuals.

Following society’s increasing mobility, the development of accessible education and more affordable books and newspapers meant that the original role of Reading Rooms changed.


Many lost support and funding which resulted in the buildings being taken over by other bodies such as parish councils. This was not the case with the Curdridge Reading Room as it has remained an independent body run by a charity and it continues to operate in this way today.


The reading-room, by Walter Appleton Clark (1898) via Library of Congress

The main purpose of the Reading Room is to provide a resource for village activities.  The recreation ground represents one important aspect of that purpose and is used predominantly by the Curdridge Cricket Club.  It is also used by the local primary school for their sports day and PE sessions, Scout groups and local residents whose children use the play area or, who visit regularly to walk their dogs.  


The field behind the Reading Rooms (The Skinner Field) provides another area for community use although typically, it has been used for over-flow parking when events are taking place at the Reading Room.  This field is used regularly for dog agility classes.


The building is used regularly by other local businesses to hold their classes or workshops including Pilates, Zumba, an auction that runs every other week, a dance school and a drama group who put on two performances a year.  Residents local to the village and the surrounding area also use the facilities for private functions such as birthday parties, family reunions, weddings and more!

The trustees are working hard to secure the future of the charity and welcome interest and support. There are competitive rates for hiring the rooms, recreation ground or the field.   Visit our room hire page for full details

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