Once known as the Assembly Rooms, the Grade II listed building was built around 1788 as part of the Red Lion public house to provide facilities to accommodate entertainment such as dancing, performances, and card games.
It was well used throughout the 19th Century due to increased visitors to the town frequenting the popular Egham races at Runnymede. The change in name came in the 1850s when the building became home to Egham’s Literary and Debating Society. In World War One it was an Army Recruiting station, an Air Raid shelter in World War Two, hosting many fundraising events for the war effort. The building has been home to the town library, the Egham Urban District Council and is still home to The Egham Museum.
Many local groups and societies have used the building over the years to host their meetings and events, and for many, it was their adoptive home, such as Runnymede Drama Society. It has been the home to The Egham Museum for over 50 years, and up until August 2018, housed Strode’s College’s Adult Education Department.
It has long been the aim of many residents to see The Literary Institute once again be at the heart of the community. This vision provides the opportunity to restore the building to its original purpose.