Riverhouse Barn – A brief history

riverhouse-barn-history

Riverhouse Barn – A brief history

Riverhouse started life as an 18th century barn on the banks of the River Thames in Walton, which had fallen into disrepair in the early 80’s and was used by Elmbridge Borough Council as a store for parks maintenance equipment.

In 1985, an enlightened group of local residents recognised the building’s potential as a much needed arts centre for the Walton community and a plan was hatched to acquire and develop the building and secure funding. Elmbridge Borough Council itself played a major part in realising the dream by leasing the building on a peppercorn rent.

Now Riverhouse offers a wide range of spaces that can be easily adapted to meet most requirements for theatrical and musical events and art exhibitions.

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The original Barn has been converted into an adaptable performance space with raked seating for Theatre or can be set up in Cabaret or Concert style for musical events. There is a comprehensive programme of Plays, Children’s Theatre, Classical, Folk and Jazz Performances throughout the year. The adjoining Craft Studio hosts art and craft classes for all ages. The Robert Phillips Gallery was a more recent addition to the site creating a wonderful, light and airy display space which shows a wide range exhibitions from fine art to photography, local interest to sculpture. There is a cafe on site which in 2016 was taken over by new management creating Thyme at Riverhouse Cafe.

The cafe is open every day and is popular with Arts Centre regulars, along with riverside walkers, passers by and families.

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