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At the heart of English folk
Kennedy Hall Mural detail

Kennedy Hall revealed

We are delighted that Kennedy Hall is now reopen for business following our extensive restoration programme to restore it to its former glory.

The four-month schedule of work included:

  • Restoring the unique Ivon Hitchens mural
  • Laying a new fully sprung dance floor
  • Restoring the wood panelling
  • Refurbishing, repairing and repainting the ceiling and windows
  • Installing energy efficient lighting, a projection screen 


Drag the red line or arrows in the following images to see just a few elements of the room in the 'before', then 'after' stages of the refurbishment.



The original curtains, which dated back to the 1950s, were a Marion Dorn design. They have been preserved and we are in talks with museums, archives and private collectors to take on the textile collection.



The restoration of Kennedy Hall was the second phase of our programme to improve the facilities at Cecil Sharp House. 

Previous developments included the installation of a lift providing step-free access to all floors; theatrical sound and lighting and equipment; renovation of the foyer, the cafe and bar; and the development of the gardens.



EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director Katy Spicer said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Kennedy Hall is fully refreshed and ready for use by folk music and dance enthusiasts again.

“The extensive programme of work was carefully planned to ensure a sympathetic restoration that was in keeping with the history of the hall and Cecil Sharp House but that created a facility that could meet the needs of users for generations to come. We are very grateful to all the funders and donors for their support.”



The project was funded by grants from Arts Council England (£197,125), The Foyle Foundation (£40,000), The Monument Trust (£25,000), the Friends of Cecil Sharp House (£10,000), and The Derek Hill Foundation (£3,000). 

Donations of £43,000 were raised from individuals, including many EFDSS members, for which we are very grateful.

We are continuing to fundraise to purchase new chairs and sound equipment together with new floors for our smaller halls and meeting rooms.

To support the Shape the Future campaign


Text: To donate £5 by mobile*, text STFC14 £5 to 70070. (If you would like to donate a different amount, simply change that part of the text message. For example, for £3 text STFC14 £3, or for £10 STFC14 £10.)

By post:

Send a cheque made payable to EFDSS to:

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 7AY

Join us to celebrate the new look Kennedy Hall at a Celebration Ceilidh on June 18.

Tickets are available here or from reception at Cecil Sharp House.



National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!