Albert E Wallington
After closure of the Boys Free Grammar School in 1903 The Hall became dilapidated and was put up for sale. The Masons took a short lease on the building, made it habitable and moved in permanently in 1913. In 1918 Albert Wallington, a Mason, bought the whole building, completely renovated it and, with extreme generosity, donated it for joint use by the Masons and Holy Trinity Church. This act of philanthropy has benefited the Masons, the Church and the Town alike. Since acquiring the entire building in 2010, and taking on the considerable maintenance obligations, the Masons have decided to honour their benefactor by renaming the building.
This beautiful grade II* building will continue to be hired out to the community as always. Its central position with nearby parking is ideal. Significant investment is ongoing – central heating throughout, new folding tables, window cushions, curtains and comfortable chairs.
The Hall’s kitchen and toilets have been recently upgraded. All proceeds from hire are ploughed back towards the considerable maintenance and improvement costs of the building. Donations by individual Masons and Lodges have been crucial to this venture.
The Old Church House was built by a wealthy clothier, Thomas Horton, in the early 16th century. It was recorded by Leland in 1538 by which time Horton was dead, although his wife was still alive. In the days before rates the house was used for meetings which raised funds for Church repairs and the poor.
By the mid 19th century the Old Church House became the home of a Free School and tenements.
In 1920, the building was bought by Albert Wallington of Trowbridge who had the property transformed into its present configuration so that he could give the freehold to Holy Trinity Church with a long lease to the Freemasons of the Lodge of Friendship and Unity.
In the summer of 2010, The Church decided to sell the building and the Freemasons bought it at a public auction in October 2010.