Chilton Foliat Village Hall was originally called the Church Room, and has over the years had the pleasure of hosting a wide variety of functions and events. The Church Room was a gift to the village by Lady Pearce in 1895 and was built by George Elms of Stockcross, from plans drawn up by architect James H Money. It was officially opened on the 11th June 1895.
In its early days the hall provided a place for village residents to hold meetings, for recreation and for education. The hall also boasted its own 'Minstrel Players' and a lovely black & white photograph of them still hangs in the hall today. While this type of entertainment is unacceptable by modern standards, it remains a steadfast part of the history of the hall and village, and the photograph commemorates many members of families who remain connected to the village to this day.
You will also see a plaque on the wall inside the hall honouring the names of those in the village who lost their lives in the world wars. The 'Back Room' or 'Gentleman's Club' was built much later, by Sir John Ward in 1923. He also donated a Billiard table for visitors to use. Sir John also generously provided much needed heating and lighting for the hall.
During the war years, between 1939 and 1945, much of the area around Chilton Foliat played host to American soldiers. Some of whom were billeted along the driveway of Littlecote House. The village hall was occupied by the YMCA and provided a place for the men to rest, relax and write their letters home. Reverend Walter Pelham scouted the village and found 8 capable ladies who in turn co-opted their friends and family to work on a rota system to provide a canteen service for the weary troops.
Over the years many local residents have continued with fundraising events to enhance and maintain the village hall, and in 1985 the job of Trustees was passed from the PCC to the Parish Council, who in turn elected a Management Committee to run the hall. Fundraising from village residents enabled a new ceiling to be installed to prevent heat loss and volunteers provided curtains to aid in heat retention. In 1995 a pageant was arranged to celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the hall.
The hall is now used, in part or as a whole, with an ever-increasing number of events annually. Fundraising continues, and the Village Hall Management Committee manage a '100 Club', which has proved to be very popular. Profits from the 100 Club were used to purchase the new village defibrillator in 2018 and also assist with funding maintenance of the hall, as well as other projects for the benefit of the village as a whole.
Chilton Foliat Village Hall remains a vital and thriving part of our village. If you would like to discuss booking the hall for your event, please don't hesitate in contacting us. We look forward to seeing you!