History of Portal Hall
The Home Guard at Portal Hall
On Saturday 31st August 1889 friends of the late Reverend Canon George Raymond Portal, who died on the 9th of April that year, "constituted themselves a committee to carry out arrangements in connexion with the erection of a Parish Room in Burghclere as a memorial to the late Canon Portal".

Mr. Francis Bacon, a local inhabitant who became one of the Trustees, was asked to prepare a design for the Burghclere Parish Room and the Earl of Carnarvon granted "...a piece of land in the county of Hants to be used as the site for a Parish Room as a memorial to the late Canon Portal...". As a meeting of the sub-committee on 14th September the suggested site was described as "...being in the meadow behind the cottage occupied by Field the rectory gardener; on the road between the 2 railway bridges." For some reason the site finally chosen was the eminently more suitable one near the church and school. It could be that the Earl of Carnarvon had some reason for not wanting it give that piece of land or perhaps the Trustees too thought the eventual site to be more suitable.

The Parish Room, built in the 'Arts & Crafts style' by Bances of East Woodhay, was completed by October 1890 for the princely sum of 904 9s 2d., the total subscriptions being 1,115 17s 0d., and was run by the Management Committee under the control of the Trustees until the 1940's, from which time it was agreed, year by year, not to appoint Managers. The Trustees comprised the rector for the time being, the headmaster of the schools and various members of the landed gentry in Burghclere.

In 1946 Burghclere Parish Council took ownership with a remit "...to be managed let and maintained for the Parish of Burghclere for such purposes (being either useful or social or recreational or otherwise) and upon such terms and conditions for the benefit of the Parish of Burghclere as the council may decree advisable."

During the 2nd World War, the Hall provided headquarters for the local Home Guard.