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Hello and welcome to this new Ilton web site. I have been collecting history on our village for the past 9/10 years so this site is primarily set up for all of that information to be in one place, though I have added two dedicated areas to the village hall and church where not only can you find out their history but also what’s going on now. This site is very much in it’s infancy but I hope you enjoy it as it grows! If you have any information for me, or any comments, my name is Jacqueline and you can contact me at jak.bennett@btinternet.com.

The following is an extract from Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1875

“Ilton is a village and parish, 137 miles from London, 2 north from Ilminster station, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Abdick and Bulstone, Chard union and county court district, Crewkerne rural deanery, archdeaconry of Taunton, diocese of Bath and Wells, situated on the river Ile. The Church of St Peter, restored in 1860, is in the early Decorated style, having a chancel and north chancel aisle, nave, north aisle, with south transcept; the tower is on the south side, adjoining the transept, and serves for an entrance: this arrangement renders the general outline of the building very striking and picturesque. The register dates from the year 1642. The living is a vicarage with residence and 14 acres of glebe land. There is a school for boys and girls, and there is a Sunday school held in the school room. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel. There are almshouses for aged people. Within this parish lies the ancient manor of Merrifield, formerly the residence of Sir Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, founders of the college of that name in Oxford: the moat and the basement portion of one of the towers are still in existence. The Countess of Egremont owns the manor and chief portion of the land. The chief crops are wheat, beans, oats and flax. The population in 1871 was 450.”

The following is taken from the same directories, 31 years later, in 1906

“Ilton is a village and parish, 3 miles north from Ilminster station, in the Bridgwater division of the county, hundred of Abdick and Bulstone, Chard union and county court district, Ilminster rural deanery, archdeaconry of Taunton, diocese of Bath and Wells, situated on the river Ile. The Church of St Peter, restored in 1860, is in the early Decorated and Perpendicular style, having a chancel and north chancel aisle, nave, north aisle, with south transcept; the tower is on the south side, adjoining the transept and has 4 bells, and serves for an entrance. The register dates from the year 1642. The living is a vicarage with residence and 12 acres of glebe land. There is a school for 80 boys and girls, erected in 1875, average attendance 61. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel. There are almshouses for 17 aged people. Within this parish lies the ancient manor of Merrifield, formerly the residence of Sir Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, founders of the college of that name in Oxford: the moat and the basement portion of one of the towers are still in existence. William Wyndham esq. of Dinton House, Salisbury owns the manor and chief portion of the land. The chief crops are wheat, beans and oats. The population in 1901 was 368. In 1885, by Local Government Board Order – Boxstone Hill was transferred from Ilton to Seavington St Mary, Clayhanger was transferred from Whitelackington to Ilton and part of Ilton, known as Rapps, was amalgamated with Ashill for civil purposes. ”

The following is taken from the same directories, another 29 years later, in 1906

“Ilton is a village and parish, 3 miles north from Ilminster station, on the Chard branch of the Great Western Railway, in the Yeovil division of the county, hundred of Abdick and Bulstone, Chard union and county court district, Crewkerne rural deanery, archdeaconry of Taunton, diocese of Bath and Wells, situated on the river Ile. The Church of St Peter, restored in 1860, is in the early Decorated and Perpendicular style, having a chancel and north chancel aisle, nave, north aisle, with south transcept; the tower is on the south side, adjoining the transept and has 4 bells, and serves for an entrance. The register dates from the year 1642. The living is a vicarage with residence and 6 acres of glebe land. Here is a Methodist Chapel. There are two sets of almshouses, one for 8 built by Sir Nicholas Wadham and one of nine by Whetstone in 1643, for aged people, all of which are endowed. Within this parish lies the ancient manor of Merrifield, formerly the residence of Sir Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, founders of the college of that name in Oxford: the moat and the basement portion of one of the towers are still in existence. William Wyndham esq. J.P. is Lord of the manor and the farmers are the principal landowners. The chief crops are wheat, beans and oats. The population in 1931 was 326. In 1885, by Local Government Board Order – Boxstone Hill was transferred from Ilton to Seavington St Mary, Clayhanger was transferred from Whitelackington to Ilton and part of Ilton, known as Rapps, was amalgamated with Ashill for civil purposes.”

Ilton Today

We are still a village and parish 3 miles north of Ilminster situated on the river Ile but that’s where most similarities end!! We are no longer on a railway line (or canal for that matter) and we are governed by South Somerset District Council. The Church information remains the same, except that we are now under the Ilminster District deanery, we have 6 bells and our main entrance is now on the west side. From the first directories you can see that the Church had recently undergone restoration and we now need restoring again! The vicarage has been sold off with all glebe lands. There is no longer a Methodist chapel here (it is now a private residence.) There are still two sets of almshouses but one is now under the control of a housing association. All that now remains of the ‘ancient house of Merrifield’ is the moat! We no longer have a Lord of the Manor and the landowners are householders/businesses/Yarlington Housing! Ilton has two hamlets of Ashford & Ilford. There is still a mixed school here, a pub, a village hall, two business parks but no shop or post office. Like most villages, Ilton changed considerably after the last war and although some of it probably wasn’t for the better, for those of us that live here we find it to be a friendly and sociable place to live.

To navigate your way around this site simply choose a heading at the top of the page and then click on any sub heading. (Under the history heading, the sub title of Areas Of Ilton is probably of the most general interest.)