150 years at the heart of the community
With the closure of our Village Shop in 2012, Ilmington was left without a store for the first time in living memory. Residents faced a six mile round trip to the nearest shop, and the village became a place of isolation for many, particularly the elderly and those living alone. The social hub of village life had gone and was sorely missed.
After two and a half years of determined and tireless hard work, the Ilmington Shop Committee and scores of village volunteers celebrated the opening of the Ilmington Community Shop in May 2015. The Café opened the following year.
The former St Philip’s Roman Catholic Church on Upper Green is a beautiful building and has an iconic status in the village.
It was built and endowed in 1867 as a School for Catholic children by Philip Howard, husband of the heiress Elizabeth Canning, whose family were Lords of the Manor of Ilmington. The adjoining house was built for the schoolmistress, but by 1931 out of 23 pupils only three were Catholic and the School closed.
When Philip Howard died three years later, Foxcote House passed to non Catholics and it was decided to close its Chapel and to convert the former School into a Church. It was opened by Archbishop Thomas Leighton Williams in 1935. The neighbouring schoolhouse became the Presbytery.
The Church closed in July 2013 and was purchased by the Village Cooperative in early 2015, ensuring the building will remain in community use for future generations.