The Priory Room is located next to St. Mary’s Church and is maintained and managed by the Parochial Church Council for the use of village organisations only. The name comes from the fact that in the middle ages Walsham was staffed by priests from Ixworth Priory.
Walsham History Group have produced a review all about the Priory Room.
The priests from Ickworth Priory built a ‘rest house’ near the current site of the Priory Room. In 1902 the local benefactor John Martineau decided to build a “room for meetings in connection with the church” as reported by the Bury Free Press 1902.
The Priory Room was designed by John Martineau’s cousin, Edward Henry Martineau, many of whose buildings can be seen in the village and beyond. The celebrated “Martineau cottages” dating from 1866 to 1899 are all robust buildings in an Elizabethan style, and the Priory Room is similar; oak-framed and with texts carved into the timber. The main text carved on the front gable reads:
‘Suffer little children to come unto me’…
and is often misunderstood. It is a verse from the King James translation of the gospels, meaning…
‘Let the children come to me’.
The Martineau’s obviously intended the room to be used as a Sunday School. This was Edward Henry Martineau’s last building. He died before it was completed, and there is a memorial inscription at the south end.
Priest-in-Charge | Reverend Philip Merry | 01359 258 806
Room Bookings Village Events Only | John Boulter 07908 010555 / 01359 259349
Churchwardens | Collen Baker 01359 259258 | Howard Gilbert 01359 259101