History of the Savill Hall


The hall was constructed in 1926 by Maude Savill of Chantmarle in memory of her brother Frank Savill, who died in 1916 and is buried in the churchyard. The site was previously some farm buildings. The Hall is a listed building.

Though a very fine looking building (possibly one of the most imposing in Dorset) all is not quite what it seems, as the windows and carvings looking deceptively like stone but are actually an early use of reinforced concrete. The mock Tudor design was reputed to be the same as Chantmarle Manor.

Originally the Hall was heated by a coke stove and without the lowered ceiling was only warm for those in its immediate vicinity. Everyone else froze!1

During the WWII the hall was used as a rest centre for Dunkirk evacuees. Later, when the Americans were camped in the village awaiting D Day, the hall was regularly used for entertaining the troops with dances and live shows. James Cagney is reputed to have trodden the stage here2.

The parquet floor was laid in 1968 and cost £1093 (around £20,000 in 2019 money).

Eric & Mike Cox’s grandfather was a stonemason who helped to build the hall. Eric & Mike are still alive today and live in Meadow View.

The latest change at the hall is the erection of a new lamp post, incorporating the the 133 year old plinth from one in the square. For the history of this lamp see separate page.

1 Cattistock – A Dorset Village by Marie Langford

2 The Frome Valley Chronicals edited by Brian Johnson