The Lambeage Hall is built on a sloping plot of land overlooking Perprean Cove in Coverack, with views out towards Chynhalls Point. The land itself is called the Lambeage, but also known as The Battery, as from the late 18th Century there were canons placed around it for coastal defence. At the same time, the land was a meadow and cut for hay annually.
Over the years, the Lambeage has variously been spelled as Lan Big and Lan Bygh. Cornish language expert Dr. Jo Pye explains: ‘Lan’ means a small enclosure, usually within a religious context. ‘Beage’ means ‘little’ and is one of many spellings for ‘bygh’. The form Lambeage suggests that spoken Cornish survived in Coverack quite late for the ‘n’ to be replaced by ‘m’, as it is easier to say that way. ‘Lan Bygh’ would have been the written form.
The hall itself was originally built as a reading room in tribute to the men of the village who served in the Great War 1914-18. Plans were begun in 1919 for the land to be purchased for £75 from the Ellis family who owned it at the time, but as the Permanent Chairman of the committee had gone back to sea, the purchase was not completed until 1922. The village raised money to build the hall over many years, holding whist drives, concerts in St Peter’s Church Hall, and through public subscriptions. In 1926 the villagers began to lay the foundations of the hall in their spare time, before handing over to the professional builders. The wall was a wooden structure, resting on the land at the top of the hill, with wooden pillars holding up the side nearest the sea. The total cost of building the hall was £300, which equates to approximately £19000 today*. The building opened in 1928, almost 10 years after it was originally thought of.
Over the decades, the hall has had many uses. In the 1930s, popular events included whist drives and dances. In the Second World War, it was used as a classroom for evacuees during the day, and as a YMCA for the Army, RAF and WRNS in the evenings. Dances other village events continued into the 1950s and 60s, and many local people have fond memories of these. In the 1970s a major project was undertaken to encase the hall in concrete, and build meeting rooms below and new toilets and a kitchen extension at the back. In the 1990s popular events were concerts by the Coverack Singers, square dances and bingo.