Central Hall, which is situated on the corner of St Mary Street and Marsh Lane, was built in the 1920s as the headquarters of Southampton's Methodist Mission. Central Halls were built between 1886 and 1945 in most large British towns and cities, mainly by the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Unlike traditional Methodist churches, they often had elaborate facades and were surmounted by prominent domes. Many included projection rooms so that they could be used as cinemas.
The Southampton hall was used for evangelical and political meetings as well as for regular Methodist services. Billy Graham, the American evangelist spoke here in 1954 and Harold Wilson addressed a meeting of Labour Party supporters in the 1960s.
The hall was closed down in 1965 due to a dwindling congregation and was sold to the Borough Education Department. It was purchased by Southampton Community Church in 1990.

Central Hall

Image Unavailable

Photograph, 1981


Further reading:
‘Southampton Central Hall’, by John Avery in FOSMAG Newsletter, no. 73, Autumn 2013, p18-19 (HS/lt)


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