Our History

Longfield Hall was built by William Minet and completed in 1889. It was designed by architect George Hubbard. William Minet also built the library opposite the hall, St James the Apostle Church on Knatchbull Road and much of the housing which surrounds Myatt’s Fields Park. Sadly the original library building was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War, while Longfield Hall was undamaged.

What makes Longfield Hall unusual architecturally is that it is an intact, late Victorian community hall. Longfield Hall has had many users since it opened – everything from Cinderella dances to “fruit socials”. In the 1970s it was home to Britain’s first publicly-funded Black Theatre company, Dark & Light Theatre Club.

In 2017 LHT received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which explored the history of the hall and its environs.

Dark and light theatre

The Dark and Light Theatre was the UK’s first Arts Council funded black-led theatre company in the UK and based at Longfield hall until 1975.

Dark and light theatre

The Dark and Light Theatre was the UK’s first Arts Council funded black-led theatre company in the UK and based at Longfield hall until 1975.

The Trust

Longfield Hall Trust manages Longfield Hall on behalf of our local community. The trustees all live within 500 metres of the hall and answer to the trust’s members, the Friends of Longfield Hall. Anyone can become a Friend. And it’s free. The Trust’s primary purpose is to ensure that Longfield Hall meets the changing needs of our local community.
The trustees are:

Clare Cary
Rosy Crehan
James Gardiner-Hill
Christina Hughes-Onslow
Will Ollard
Patricia Omonua
Grace Kikelumo Omonua
Juliet Williams

Charitable purpose

In January 2010, and in order to prepare for development, the Trust became a company limited by guarantee and a new registered charity. Our registered charity number is 1133679. Our company number is 07030896. Anyone can use either the Companies House or Charity Commission websites to see who is a trustee, what we’re doing and our latest annual accounts.

The Trust’s charitable purpose is,
To benefit the inhabitants of the London Borough of Lambeth and its neighbourhood (“the area of benefit”) by the relief of poverty, distress and sickness, the furtherance of health, the advancement of education and the provision of recreation and leisure time facilities and to improve the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.

Strategic aims
The Trust’s strategy consists of four strategic aims:
1. To secure the sustainability of Longfield Hall as a community asset;

2. To enhance the range of educational, cultural, recreational and community development opportunities offered from the building;

3. To respond to the needs of the richly diverse local community;

4. To be a beacon of urban environmental sustainability.

Local partnerships
The Trust frequently works with local statutory, community and private sector partners. We see partnership as an essential part of working together to share resources and deliver joint projects and services for local people. Get in touch if you’d like to work with us!
Partners over the years have included:

• Lambeth Adult and Community Services
• Minet Hub
• Minet Library and Lambeth Archives
• Friends of Lambeth Libraries
• Our Lambeth Community Hub Partners
• Lambeth Children’s and Young People’s Services Directorate
• Lambeth Day Services
• South London and Maudsley NHS Trust
• Age UK Lambeth
• Myatts Field North Community Development Board
• Local churches and schools
• McAlpine Dance Studio
• Bright Lights Drama
• Local musicians, dancers and actors
• Ecosystem Coldharbour


Longfield Hall Trust (LHT) is involved as a partner in several local initiatives and expects to become involved in several more. LHT is founder member of the Minet Hub along with Minet Conservation Association, the Myatt’s Field Park Project and the Remakery. The Minet Hub aims to get local charitable organisations to work together for the benefit of the local community.
LHT is also an active member of the Lambeth Community Hubs Network.

There are now five other Lambeth hubs:
High Trees Community Development Trust
Lambeth Accord- We are 336
Slade Gardens Adventure Playground
Stockwell Partnership

LHT is also an active member of Locality.
Locality is the national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations, working together to help neighbourhoods thrive.

Community Projects

One of our main purposes is to ensure that Longfield Hall benefits and meets the needs of our local community. In order to do this we carried out a large public consultation Longfield Listens in 2015. This helped us to understand what kind of activities our local residents want. It has fed into key aims:

  • to provide more opportunities for young people
  • to provide activities for people aged 55+
  • to provide more health and wellbeing classes
  • to provide more social events

Longfield Hall Trust develops and delivers projects to bring our local community together. In recent years we have had funding from Awards for All, Active Lambeth Sports Fund and Lambeth and Southwark Wellbeing Fund.