The Thomas Roe Charity Building
/ Friends of All Saints' Heritage Centre
Thomas Roe is believed to have lived at 'The Park' or what is now known as 'The Manor House' Scaldwell. He died in 1666 and was buried in Scaldwell Church. A year before his death documentary evidence shows that he bequeathed land situated in Scaldwell Road, Brixworth for the education of poor children.
In 1811 the Trustees of the Thomas Roe Charity had this building erected to provide education for 'ten poor children from the parish of Brixworth and ten from Scaldwell'.
In 1870 a large brick and stone building was built across the road and became Brixworth School and the Thomas Roe building became the infants school.
In 1884 the small brick building opposite the Roe building was erected and became the Infants School.It is thought that the Thomas Roe building continued to be used for educational purposes.
By 1893 the Thomas Roe building had become known as 'The Institute'. The institute closed in 1921 and there is little mention of the building in the Trustees minutes until 1939 when it was suggested that the building should be kept in good repair using the Thomas Roe Charity funds.
In 1940 the building was let to the County Council for use as an extra schoolroom to accommodate the many evacuees staying in the village. After the war it was used by the Brixworth & Scaldwell Boys Club and then by the village scouts.
By the late 1960s the building was costing more to repair than the income received for its use. By 1979 the cost of repairs was becoming an increasing drain on the Charities' funds and in 1986 the Trustees considered selling it.
Eventually The Friends of All Saints Church came to the rescue and an agreement was made to purchase the building. The sale of the building was completed in 1993 and a programme of complete refurbishment was started. After many months of voluntary effort, the Friends were able to officially open the building as the Heritage Centre on June 2nd 1995. John Lowther, the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire performed the opening ceremony and The Rev paul Barber, Bishop of Brixworth dedicated the building.
The Heritage Centre is opened on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between 2.00pm and 5.00pm from the beginning of May to the end of September. it is manned jointly by the Brixworth History Society, who exhibit various archives, and the Friends of All Saints Church.
Extracted from research by John Dawkins