Built Heritage: The Old Sunday School
BUILT HERITAGE | FEBRUARY 2023
By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust
This is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that will highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings.
Our last article covered the risks of leaving a lifetime interest in a property to a person not the ultimate beneficiary of a will. This one looks for solutions to historic and perhaps listed buildings falling into disrepair and for which no obvious current use exists.
The prime example of this is the old Sunday School at St James’ Church in Sandys. The vestry minutes of April 14, 1865 include “This was the first meeting held in the above named Sunday School Room, a building erected and completed though the exertions of some benevolent ladies of Sandys aided by liberal contributions by gentlemen of the parish and other individuals. Independent of it being used as a Sunday School, all vestry and parish meetings will in future be held therein.”
A handsome little building in the style of the simpler lodges of the period but with arched Gothic windows, it is listed Grade 2. In the southeast corner of the churchyard, it is easily visible from the main road. However, once the new church hall was built in 1964 on the north side of the property its usefulness was in doubt. Access to the toilets was from the exterior, there is no easy wheeled access to the entrance and because of this the building was difficult to rent.