DJ Property of Weymouth has recently acquired the former Kingdom Hall, which adjoins the Old Town Hall on Weymouth’s historic High West Street, one of the towns oldest streets.   High West Street is located on the Weymouth side of the Town Bridge which historically separates the borough with Melcombe Regis. Known today as High West Street, the small road to the left behind the McCarthy and Stone, Harbour Lights Court development, near the bottom of Boot Hill was part of Weymouth’s original High Street. Today, it still hosts the Old Town Hall and a terrace of 18th and 19th-century houses, plus the site of Weymouth’s oldest pub, The Boot Inn.

Originally, the land belonged to the Johnstone Estate and was leased to the “Good Templars” in 1875, but almost immediately the members turned the building into a Weymouth Coffee Tavern in 1879.  In the 1930s and 1940s, the building was occupied by the British Legion who subsequently transferred the lease to the Conservative Club in the 1950s.  Devenish occupied the building using it as a beer store in the 1960s, before the building became the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the late 1970s, according to local historians.

Mickey Jones, Chief Executive of DJ Property said “This is a very interesting and unique local building.  The history of the building is captivating, and its location is set in the very heart of the original Weymouth town. The building itself is quirky and distinctive, a real niche type building which offers something different.  Weymouth’s waterfronts are starting to change, with new and exciting businesses occupying commercial premises on the ground floor with residential above.  We have one of the most beautiful harbours in the UK and people want to be part of it.  We are embracing this change, and are now enjoying the mix of retail, leisure and residential buildings in the town centre as seen in the recently developed “Deheers project on the site of the former Sharkys building at Custom House Quay”.  I am conscious that many of the best waterfront sites are owned by Dorset Council.  I would relish the opportunity to work with the Council and the community to bring these sites forward and deliver investment into the town.  My local links and track record of development can only help”.

Thanks to the Local History Centre, Weymouth Museum, Brewers Quay, Hope Square, Weymouth DT4 8TR, who have helped to research the history of this building. For more information email:  localhistoryunit@weymouthmuseum.org.uk

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