Richmond Supper Room
54 Bridge Street, Richmond
Saturday, Feb 24
Sunday, Feb 25
Architect/s: Public Works Department (1838), William Porden Kay (1844), Joseph Nichols (1877)
The Richmond Supper Room came into being as an auxiliary space for the Richmond Town Hall, upon the latter’s construction in 1908. Previous to this, it was Richmond’s first public hall and library, itself a conversion and reuse of the former Richmond Watch House. The ‘desirableness of establishing a reading room and library’ at Richmond was realised at a public meeting at the Richmond Council Chambers (previously the Richmond Court House) on 10th April 1877. A community-led enterprise, it was established through public subscription at a cost of ten shillings per year, payable half-yearly in advance, to those who subscribed.
The former Richmond Watch House was identified as a suitable location as a public hall, despite objections from the Inspector of Police. Joseph Nichols’ plans were approved with alterations to the former watch house, reflecting the community’s commitment to education over penal needs. Builder G.W. Harris undertook the renovations, gutting a rear wing to create a hall and adding a weatherboard extension for reading rooms.
The original section of the Richmond Watch House, fronting the park, was constructed in 1838. The rear wing, built in 1844, initially housed a cookhouse, lock-up, and prison cells. Completed by December 1877-8, the library hall and reading room marked a significant step in Richmond’s cultural evolution, utilizing an existing structure to foster intellectual pursuits within the community.
Following construction of the current Richmond Town Hall, the rooms became the Supper Room, supporting events and country dances in the hall. Older locals recall that prior to supper, older community members played euchre and cribbage while younger folk danced. A full kitchen was eventually added and art hanging track installed in 2023 as a Bicentenary project to ensuring the room’s regular use for exhibitions. The Supper Room is used for a variety of community activities and projects.
Ownership of the Richmond Library Hall and Reading Rooms was transferred by the library committee to the Richmond Municipal Council (1861-1993) on 7th November 1908.
Open: Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 February, 11 am – 4 pm
Open House Richmond Experience: The Wesley Stacey’s 1960s Richmond Exhibition will be on display in the Supper Room, Friday 23 – Monday 26 February, 11 am – 4 pm.
Richmond | Coal River Valley
History of Richmond
New to Program
Suitable for Children
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