Kingshill House Dursley
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Kingshill House venue information
Situated in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, Kingshill House is an elegant Georgian mansion that dates back to 1705. For next 230 years it was lived in by generations of families and also provided much needed employment to the surrounding community.
View of the front of Kingshill House
In 1705 Thomas Purnell purchased Kingshill House from the King family and established it as a late 18th century gabled mansion. Generations of the Purnell family lived at Kingshill House until 1864 when the house, along with 600 acres of estate, was sold for £6,095. It was bought by Thomas Williams Richards, a local maltster and farmer.
In 1872 Kingshill House was sold again, this time to Edwin Eyre and his wife Eliza. The Eyres had no children, but their niece Margaret Sealey Pool and her husband Arthur Ruscombe Pool QC joined them in living at the house, as did around 20 indoor and outdoor servants.
When Eliza Eyre died in 1905, aged 84, her niece Margaret Pool took over the estate. A massive Edwardian extension was built at Kingshill House around 1907 at the north-eastern corner of the house. It was around this time that Mrs Poole's daughter, Mrs John Awdry, her husband and their three children moved into the house.
When Margaret Poole died in 1930 the house ceased to be a family home. It was bought at auction in 1934 by the engineering company R A Lister. They gave the building to Dursley Rural District Council under covenant and the grounds were used to build the houses that still surround Kingshill House today.
The house was later used by Stroud District Council. During the Second World War Kingshill House was used as the local ARP Warden’s Headquarters, issuing essentials such as gas masks.
Despite the house receiving Grade II* listed status in 1952, by 1990 the once magnificent house was derelict, with boarded up windows, blackened walls and a shabby interior.
However, its potential was not lost on a group of dedicated volunteers from local amateur drama group the Dursley Operatic and Dramatic Society who worked tirelessly to bring the house back to life.
Kingshill House Ltd is now a charity run by a team of enthusiastic staff. It operates as an arts centre providing the community with classes, workshops and performances and also offers room hire. Our splendid rooms can be hired for social events and business meetings held in elegant rooms named after the families who once lived here.
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