I was recently drawing in High Barnet, and focused on a beautiful small Victorian building close to the church and the high street, called the Hyde Institute. I have since become curious as to how the building came about and what the Hyde Institute is – here’s what I’ve found out so far:
The Hyde Institute and Reading Rooms.
—In 1888 Mrs. Julia Hyde by her will, proved on the 23 October, bequeathed £10,000 to the rectors and churchwardens of Monken Hadley and Chipping Barnet to be applied by them in trust to establish a library, institute, and reading rooms for the use of the two parishes, and to furnish the same and provide a library of books for use therein, and to set apart and invest part of the legacy and apply the income in hiring a building or rooms in one of the said parishes for the purposes thereof. The sum of £1,000 was spent in books and furniture, and the balance was invested as to £5,000 in £5,063 5s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock, and as to £4,000 in £4,107 16s. 1d. consols, the annual income amounting to £264 16s. 8d. The institute was maintained in a house in Barnet held at a rent of £80 a year, until 1904, when a suitable building was erected in Church Passage, by private generosity.
Now I need to see if I can discover who the architect was and what happens in the building today – that’s phase 2!
The painting is now showing at the Camden Image Gallery, close to Camden Road tube station, till the 1st of March.