The Church Institute, Llanfairfechan
This building was built after the congregation of the local church had grown too large for meetings and social events to be accommodated in the village Church School. This school, now the Ysgol Babanod (infants’ school), had been built in 1848 and extended for infants and later girls. Mrs Fanny North, Herbert Luck North’s mother, offered the land to build a new hall. She was then owner of the Plas Estate, covering a large area of eastern Llanfairfechan.
Herbert North designed the hall, which became known as the Church Institute, and oversaw its construction. The cost of the building and its fitting out were met by public subscription and it was opened in 1912.
The Institute was used in the run-up to the First World War as a gymnasium, meeting hall, for social events and even as a rifle range. During the war it was used by local women for knitting blankets and rolling bandages for the war effort. After Herbert North’s return from France, the Institute was used for rehabilitation of wounded servicemen.
On their return from the front, the village’s surviving churchmen complained that the Institute had been taken over by the women. Herbert North’s response was to build the adjoining Churchmen’s Club, with snooker hall, which was completed in 1927.
Both buildings, inside and out exhibit all the hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts movement, the roof and gables of the Institute are particularly beautiful. They are still used by the community for meetings and social events.
With thanks to Andrew Hinchliff and Pam Phillips
Postcode: LL33 0AE
|To continue the HL North Arts & Crafts tour, cross Park Road and turn left into The Close. Next QR codes are on gatepost on the right|