Tuesday 11 July 2017

Vectis Hall, Isle of Wight

This gorgeous former school was sent to me by reader Lyn, who tipped me off that this Grade II listed building at Ryde, on the lovely Isle of Wight, was finally on the market.
Vectis Hall, was built in 1812 and was originally the first free school in Ryde, according to Historic England. In the Ryde Conservation Appraisal of 2011, it was listed as "a building of considerable historic interest", albeit already empty and semi-derelict by then.

The building had been used in the past for dances and events but various local bids to stop the hall's owners' from leaving it to rot had floundered, despite the actions of local pressure groups and compulsory repairs notices from the council. The last attempt to get the owners to repair the hall was made a couple of months before it was put on the market.
It's a sad story I hear time and again from my readers, of wonderful, historic buildings in their area neglected by private owners and mishandled by local development bodies, often until they reach the stage where they argue demolition is the only option.
The example that always gets me is the Lord Line building in my home city. I've spent thirty years driving past that art deco symbol of Hull's fishing and merchant navy past, dreaming of being able to buy it and bring it back to life.

Anyway, back to Vectis Hall. The mostly single-storey building was first listed in 1972.

There are five rooms, including the double-height Main Hall, and a "bedroom" on the first floor. I particularly love the graffiti on the far wall in this photo:

The Ryde estate agent was clearly taken with his or her visit to the building. I don't think I've ever read a description like this:
When you open the first set of doors you are met by by two further doors that tower way above your heard [sic] and simply ooze originality & character. These doors open to a mystical world of history and stories dating back through the centuries.
My guess is this is a building that estate agent also loves and has probably spent a lot of years hoping to play their own part in resurrecting Vectis Hall by finding a sympathetic buyer. I really hope they manage to find a renovator rather than a demolisher.
On the market through Pittis with a guide price of £150k. You'll need to be quick - best and final offers by Tuesday July 18th. Details here.