"Impington Hall, the 16th century house near Cambridge, for centuries the property of the Pepys family, has been sold by Messrs. Bidwell and Sons (Cambridge) on behalf of Mr Morey Weale, who has resigned there for some time, to Mr Chivers. Messrs. Bidwell and Sons sold 460 acres of Impington Park estate to Messrs. Chivers in 1921. The Hall, enlarged and modernized about 50 years, was often mentioned in Pepys's Diary. "Cousin Roger" was "mighhty importunate" for his "coming down to Impington." Mrs Pepys stayed there, and "your most affectionate kinsman and humble servant, S.P." promised in one of his letters, to give Roger Pepys "my model and two pictures," then at Brampton."
The Times, September 12, 1925
The Chivers family had no intention to live the Hall themselves as they purchased the Hall for social and educational purposes. One of the provisions they made for helpers at the Histon Factory was classes held during the firm's time, for workers between 14 and 18 years old. Consquently in rooms where Pepys so long ago passed away the hours, boys and girls studied chemistry, cookery, book-keeping, needlework, maths and English. They also had intervals for PT.
In 1930 as the Times Newspaper reported on June 18th:
"A new use for country homes which are two big and expensive to maintain for private use as illustrated in Cambridgeshire in connexion with the Village College movement which has started in the county. At their meeting today the Cambridgeshire Eduction Committee accepted a gift from Messrs Chivers and Sons Limited, as a memorial to the late John Chivers, the gift of the ancient home of the Pepys Family, Impington Hall, to form the nucleus of the Village College for the area of Histon and Cottenham ... The Education Committee do not purpose to alter the old buildings, which are in a very good state of preservation, and include many fine panelled rooms, with seventeen century ceilings. They will be used for a warden's house, for adult education and library and for staff and recreation rooms. The Education Committee are proposing to build a new court at a cost of approxiamately £20,000 to provide a hall, classrooms, laboratories, and accomadation for practical subjects. ... Messrs Chivers and Sons are giving, in addition to the Hall, 20 acres of ground. ..."
The Education Authority soon hit a problem: the Cottenham Parish Council objected that the Village College should be built at Impington, stating that it should be built at Cottenham instead. By the time this was resolved, with Cottenham being removed from the catchment area, the money was not there to go ahead with the project due to the down turn in the economic climent.
During the 1930s Impington Hall was allowed to decay. John Gale, who was born in 1931 and who's family lived at Home Farm, says in his autobiography:
"Opposite Home Farm, .. , was the main entrance of Impington Hall and the Concertina House which probably served at one time as the hall's lodge. ... The large iron gates were embosed with a coat of arms and were kept permanently opened with large metal hooks that fixed to posts on the inside of the gateway. The roadway up to the Hall was constructed of cinder like material and may well have been built up over the years from waste from the hall's many fireplaces. Flat-barred iron railings on each side of the roadway were left intact when the Second World War started but the beautiful iron gates were taken away to help the war effort ... Although the Hall was the property of my father's company, Chvers and Sons Ltd, it was, in 1936, largely empty and served as a wonderful, if not spooky playground for my friends and I. The gardens, in spring or summer, although largely overgrown, still retain evidence of their former glory. A large ornamental fishpond, rectangular in shape, provided us with many happy hours of fishing. ... But it was in the hall itself that we had our greatest adventures. The beautiful carved wooden panelling on the main staircase was largely intact and, although the floor coverings were looking worn and threadbare, the large fireplace in the entrance hall with its tiled surround, lent us an air of grandeur. There were odd items of furniture around, but much of the contents of the rooms had, by then, disappeared. We used to climp up to the attic areas and pass through what we believed to be 'secret' passages from one roof space to another. Often we would get out onto the roof itself, leaded flooring and look out over the surrounding fields. On a good day could watch the trains passing from Cambridge to St Ives. ... After playing up there, we'd often come down the second stairway on the otherside of the Hall. At our tender age, the building and its many rooms seemed huge, although I now know it was quite a modiest property as Ancestral Halls go. ..."