The Fassnidge family were wealthy landowners whose fortune originated from the building and construction company it established in 1796. This prolific and highly regarded local firm was involved in the building of many landmarks in the Borough, including Rockingham Bridge and, to the designs of Sir Gibert Scott, St Andrew’s Church in Uxbridge.
Kate Elizabeth Fassnidge (née Canham) married into the family in 1917. She had known Edward James Sidney Fassnidge, a solicitor, for some time, however as his mother was opposed to their marriage the couple waited until she died to wed, by which time Kate was 54 and Sidney 59.
Kate and Sidney lived at The Cedars, an 18th Century town house with extensive gardens on the High Street in Uxbridge that had been in the Fassnidge family for over a century, but after only four years of marriage Sidney died.
Upon his death, Kate donated six acres of her garden and land next to Frays River to be turned into a public park in his memory, 'for the quiet enjoyment and pleasure of its townspeople’. She stipulated that the park was 'for public use and no other, to be free of charge at all times'.
Kate died in 1950 at the age of 87 and left her house and gardens to the townspeople of Uxbridge. Her wishes were for The Cedars to become a rest centre or a public library. The building proved unsuitable for either venture, thus to fulfil her wishes a memorial hall was built in the grounds.
Fassnidge Memorial Trust was created in 1994, assuming control of The Cedars and of its neighbouring building Darren House, which was also a part of the Kate Fassnidge estate, as well as the Fassnidge Memorial Hall. The Trust acquired an additional hall in Northwood at the turn of the century. Since then both halls have been demolished and rebuilt, and the new Kate Fassnidge Community Halls provide much more modern facilities – opening in Northwood in 2012, and in Uxbridge in 2019.