Conway Hall Holborn
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Conway Hall is a landmark of London's independent intellectual, political and cultural life.
For over one hundred years the Ethical Society had its centre at South Place in the City of London, where it fostered freedom in moral and spiritual life and thought. In order to have a wider range of influence and greater scope for development the Society decided to build a new home in Red Lion Square, Bloomsbury.
According to an appeal pamphlet published in 1927, the new building would "help to enable the South Place Ethical Society to continue and increase its work and activities for a fuller and more vigorous moral, intellectual, and religious life...It is the aim of the Trustees and Committee to place at the disposal of the members and visitors from the Provinces, British Dominions, United States of America and other countries, Headquarters in the heart of London, where men and women of advanced thought could meet and enjoy the amenities of social discourse, with facilities for writing, rest and refreshment."
Plans were prepared for "a dignified and commodious building, which it is hoped may become the Headquarters of the Ethical Movement in the British Isles, and also provide an open platform for speakers from any part of the world."
The Conway Hall was opened in 1929 and built at a cost of about £45,000. The name was chosen in honour of Moncure Daniel Conway (b.1832-d.1907), anti-slavery advocate, out-spoken supporter of free thought and biographer of Thomas Paine.
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