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Latitude: 51.9766 / 51°58'35"N
Longitude: -0.2278 / 0°13'40"W
OS Eastings: 521818
OS Northings: 232383
OS Grid: TL218323
Mapcode National: GBR J72.36T
Mapcode Global: VHGNM.0LD3
Plus Code: 9C3XXQGC+JV
Entry Name: Vasanta Hall
Listing Date: 8 August 2003
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1390556
English Heritage Legacy ID: 490494
Location: Letchworth, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, SG6
Electoral Ward/Division: Letchworth South West
Built-Up Area: Letchworth Garden City
Traditional County: Hertfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire
Church of England Parish: Letchworth
Church of England Diocese: St.Albans
948/0/10006 GERNON WALK
08-AUG-03 Letchworth Garden City
Meeting Hall for Theosophical Society. 1914 by W.H. Cowlishaw (1869-1957) with planned extension executed 1922 by Crickmer and Foxley, and minor late-C20 alterations. Brown brick with concrete flat roofs. Single storey meeting hall with semi-circular entrance wing.
EXTERIOR: EAST elevation has high 3-light casement under shallow segmental arch, set into flat concrete roof band with brick dentil course, corner pilasters and red brick band below window level. To left, lower bay has 2-bay arcaded entrance with brick pier and flint spandrel, recessed entrance with late-C20 door and windows. Curved wall continues in a semi-circle, joining the rear rooms added in 1922, similarly detailed, with late-C20 windows in original openings. Plaque at base indicates first sod cut Feb 11th 1914. NORTH elevation has 3 high 3-light casements above a pair of single replaced lights flanking the chimneybreast capped with semi-circular pediment above roof.
INTERIOR: Main meeting room has beaded beams and joists, shallow brick wall niche and dais with pair of paintings signed by H. Wooller 1922 to east end, copper plaque with Art Nouveau style lettering: 'TO THE STUDY OF THE DIVINE WISDOM THIS HOUSE IS DEDICATED BY ITS BUILDING AD 1914', panelled pocket doors, and painted board that reads 'THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH' to west end. Pair of toilet rooms in curve of the semi-circular entrance wing.
HISTORY: The Theosophical Society, founded 1875, was one of many religious and spiritual movements active in the early Garden City movement. The hall was opened on 1 June 1914 by Mrs Annie Besant. Cowlishaw also designed 'The Cloisters' in Letchworth, which is listed Grade II*.
SOURCE: Mervyn Miller, 'Letchworth The First Garden City'
An unusual building of 1914 that represents a spiritual movement within Letchworth, the first Garden City, a community characterised by its socialist and spiritualist ideals.
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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