Barnet Museum is to take another step in its bid to try to convert the historic Tudor Hall into a national centre for explaining and commemorating the Wars of the Roses and the role of the 1471 Battle of Barnet.


Volunteers are preparing to draw up an expression of interest to be registered with Barnet Council – the next step in the process of enforcing a six-month safeguard to prevent the former schoolhouse being sold to a private investor.

In mid-May the council agreed to declare the hall an asset of community value to see if the local community could come up with a scheme to save the hall for wider public use.

The museum and its supporters were given six weeks to follow this up with a definite expression of interest – a procedure that must be completed by July 2 to try to ensure the sale of the property is placed on hold.

Numerous local and national history groups, including the Battlefields Society, have backed the idea of establishing a Wars of the Roses display centre in the Tudor Hall.

Discussions are now to be held with staff and volunteers at Newark Museum which hosts the National Civil War Centre, which is dedicated to the 17th century Civil War. 

Their advice is needed in preparing a detailed plan to safeguard the Tudor Hall and develop ideas for a replica national centre for the Wars of the Roses.

To the surprise of local organisations, Barnet and Southgate College announced in December last year that it had decided to sell a building that was originally the schoolhouse for a free grammar school in Barnet granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1573.

Sales agents Colliers, which has been advertising the Tudor Hall at an asking price of around £1million, told the Barnet Society that the building was under offer by a private investor and the indication was that it might be used for an educational purpose.

The hall, which fills one side of the courtyard in front of the college, was part of what the college said was its “learning environment” but no longer has a use.

John Hall, chairman of the museum trust, said they had been encouraged by the level of support for the idea of creating a national centre to spread understanding of the Wars of the Roses.

“If with the help of the enthusiasts behind the National Civil War Centre we can come up a credible plan then we can think about launching a fund-raising campaign.

“We think that securing the Tudor Hall for a project like that, with a wider public, use will have considerable appeal rather than it going for a commercial purpose.”