Remarkable building receives funding from Historic England

We’ve received funding from Historic England for vital roof repairs on the Grade II listed Cambridge Hall in Kilburn.

Cambridge Hall, also known as The Tin Tabernacle, was built in 1863 as St James’s Episcopal Chapel. It’s a prefabricated structure made form galvanised, corrugated iron. As if that wasn’t unusual enough, in the 1950’s the interior of the building was transformed to resemble a naval war ship by the main leaseholders, the Sea Cadets.

It was likely built in its day as a temporary place of prayer until the much grander St Augustine’s was completed nearby. With that in mind it’s remarkable it’s still standing; however, unfortunately it has been in a state of disrepair for some years now. The sea cadets are still there, and it’s also now run as a community centre by local volunteers (some of whom are our residents) who are constantly trying to raise enough money to carry out vital repairs.

A little while ago we began working with Historic England, Brent Council and London Historic Buildings Trust to secure a future for the building. Recently Historic England awarded us with a grant of £14,862 from the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, set up to cover maintenance and repairs urgently needed on historic buildings and sites up and down the country.

This money will go a long way to cover vital roof repairs to secure the building from the elements this winter and the work on the roof begins in earnest this week.

More than 160 heritage organisations have been awarded grants from Historic England in the recent round of culture recovery funding. The really nice thing is that the grants benefit all sorts of historic sites, large and small, anything from St Paul’s Cathedral and Blenheim Palace to our Tin Tabernacle and the Crystal Palace dinosaurs.

Once the work on the roof at Cambridge Hall is complete, we will continue to work with Historic England and the community to make a success of this very unusual building.