St Bees Priory is fortunate in some respects that it has 3 church halls. When it comes to maintenance then perhaps we are not quite so fortunate!
Old College Hall is one of the best mediaeval halls in the country that is still in regular use. Originally the chancel and altar area of the mediaval church, it fell into disrepair after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was walled off from the nave and eventually lost its roof.
When the Theological College was founded (see St Bees village site) the building was repaired and became a lecture room. Eventually the College closed and the hall returned to the church.
New College Hall was built a few metres away as a result of the success of the Theological College and comprises two halls. This too returned to Church use with the closure of the College.
Both halls are in regular use. Old College Hall (OCH) mainly for choir and orchestral use as the acoustics are particularly suitable for this, and New College Hall (NCH) is for more general purpose use with many groups using the upstairs and downstairs halls.
NCH hosts a very successful “Pop-in” cafe on Thursday mornings to to which all visitors are welcome – 10.30 a.m. till 12.00 noon. Tea/Coffee and freshly made cakes!
OCH is also used for social functions as it is the large hall, seating up to 80 people. NCH ‘s capacity is around 50; less upstairs.
All 3 halls are available for hire at reasonable rates for both occasional and regular events. Please contact the booking officers for details.