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A Short History of Hilton Village Hall

The Village Hall used to be known as the National School (a Church School), which opened in 1856.  In 1880 the Education Act made it compulsory to attend school and although Hilton was a Church School, it was agreed that children of both Church and Chapel should attend.  The population of Hilton at this time was 356, 44% were Church goers and 27% Chapel.  After the War in 1946 the number of children in Hilton had risen to 59 which meant the school was now overcrowded.  Plans were made to send younger children to Fenstanton School and those who were over eleven to a school in St Ives.  During 1952, three years before its closure, the Ministry of Education gave ‘Aided for Life’ status – this meant water was laid on and flushing toilets were installed, as well as a service to provide school meals.  The merger with Fenstanton School took place in 1956 and the school in St Ives opened in 1955. 

Hilton School finally closed in 1955 after the Huntingdonshire Education Committee refused the request of Hilton residents to keep the school open.  After its closure members of the village set up a public fund in order to buy the school from the Church and make it a Village Hall.  This was achieved in 1955 and was bought for princely sum of £50.00!

The building was classed as a grade II listed building by the Department of the Environment as it was regarded to be ‘of special architectural and historic interest’.  An extension was added to the hall in 1989, this was known as the Britten Room and this was formally opened by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. John Major on Saturday 25th July 1992.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 May 2006 17:42