Earliest records: 1868
Date of building: 18th century
Grade II Listed
Commoner's Rights: No
Miss Sweeting's Preparatory School for Little Boys from 1868-c.1900. Later Toc H meeting room, Town Library, Labour Exchange, and now a private residence.
Description of property:
From Listed Building records: Meeting Room now house. 18th century. Hipped tiles roof, corbelled eaves, red brick with grey band at first floor and rendered architrave to main, West window. Rectangular plan. Two storeys. West elevation: 20th century lean-to and door to ground floor, tripartite glazing bar sash with central semi-circular head to first floor. South elevation: five semi-circular headed windows with rubbed arches and stone keys on ground floor, two glazing bar sashes and one 20th century casement on first floor.
- Advert for Library Cottage School, 1871
- Library Cottage under renovation, Feb 1989.
- Library Cottage, Aug 2001
- West window, Aug 2001
(Many local people have thought this had been a Quakers' Meeting House? However, Fred Whitby wrote to Quaker Friends Society, Euston Road, London, who say there was no Quaker meeting house in Hungerford. Fred wonders if the Literary and Scientific Institution was here?)
Miss Sweeting's Preparatory School, 1868-c.1890:
1868 (PM) Date that Miss Sweeting's Preparatory School started as stated in the 1871 Parish Magazine advert.
1871 (PM) Miss Sweeting's "Preparatory Day School for Little Boys, (established upwards from 3 years), "A thoroughly sound English Education imparted with Plain & Fancy Needlework, of all descriptions" (!)
1871 There is a suggestion that the west window was re-used from the demolished Town Hall. However, if Miss Sweeting established "Library Cottage" school in 1868, this seems unlikely. Needs further research.
c.1890? Date school closed? The school not listed in directories: Post Office Dir.1869, Kelly 1877,1891.
TocH meeting Room, 1916-1918:
1918 (Dorothy Kittel) Toc H based here (A society formed in England >WW1 to fight loneliness & hate & to encourage Christian comradeship. From the obsolete telegraphic code for T.H., initials of Talbot House, Poperinge, Belgium, the original headquarters of the society. Toc H lamp always lit at meeting.)
The Library, 1940s:
1940s (Joan Macey, died 2007) During the 1940s Library Cottage was used as the Town Library (downstairs) and the Labour Exchange (upstairs)
1970's Rev. Ardagh Walter & his wife Hazel lived here, in their retirement.
1987 Mr. Steve R. Hodges bought "The Old Town Library", renovations to the building. (He later bought The Three Swans)