Ilmington

 

 

The following is a brief extract from the British History Online and full information can be found by selecting the following link http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=57050

Until 1931 this parish formed the centre of a detached portion of the county of Warwick surrounded on the north and east by Worcestershire and on the west by Gloucestershire. In that year, however, the intervening Worcestershire parishes were annexed to Warwickshire. Ilmington is a long narrow parish, 4 miles from north to south with a breadth varying from less than a mile up to 2 miles. The ground is very hilly, rising from 225 ft. in the north where the road from Stratford-on-Avon to Chipping Campden enters the parish to 833 ft. where the same road crosses the southwestern boundary. In this high ground of the Ilmington Downs are several quarries, formerly worked both for building stone and road metal. Between the Downs and the village Nebsworth Hill is crossed by a track, known as Pig Lane, which may have been used in Roman times to connect the Ricknield Street and the Fosse Way. A little north of, and below, this track is a small rectangular earthwork which has been considered a Roman camp but is more probably medieval. Half a mile due south of this is the hamlet of Foxcote, lying in a hollow with Windmill Hill to the east of it. A windmill belonging to the manor is mentioned as early as 1295 and as late as 1697. The southern extremity of the parish is occupied by the hamlet of Compton Scorpion.

About a quarter of a mile north-west of the church a chalybeate spring was found in 1684 and, thanks to the commendation of Dr. William Cole and a pamphlet by Dr. Samuel Derham, had a considerable vogue for some years. The site was enclosed and paved and was given to the public use for ever by Sir Henry, afterwards Lord, Capel in 1699, but it has been for many years in private possession.

Dr. Thomas records, from the information of the rector, Abraham Swanne, that a popular gathering, wrongly styled a 'Wake', was held on 21 September, St. Matthew's day, which 'was set up by Mobbish People for wrestling and other masculine Exercises about the year 1650'. (fn. 5) This is said to have continued until about 1830.

The parish contains a good deal of woodland, particularly in the neighbourhood of Foxcote and round the village, which still has some remains of its former green. The common fields were inclosed in 1781 under an Act which affected 52 yardlands containing 1,820 acres.

The village is a fairly long and narrow one of a rambling plan in irregular oblongs one within the other, with roads branching off in all directions, some trailing up the slopes to the south-west and ending in culsde-sac.

The church sets back from the west side of, and within, the larger oblong and is approached only by a footpath passing south of it. The buildings are of usual Cotswold type, being mostly of Campden stone with thatched or stone-tiled roofs. Few have any noticeable architectural features. 'Hobdays', a small house on the west side of the road near the north end of the village, is dated 1709 and has the initials 1 & ms carved in a panel on its south-east front, but its windows are mullioned and have moulded labels and inside is a wide fire-place more characteristic of the 17th century.

The old Manor House (Mrs. Spencer Flower) about 200 yds. east of the church is an early-to-mid-16thcentury many-gabled house of three stories that has been much altered and enlarged in the present century. The old part is of L-shaped plan, the longer range facing east, and of three gabled bays, the shorter wing facing south with two gabled bays and also gabled at its west end towards the roadway. The gables have copings and ball-finials. The windows have plain mullions and square heads with labels: those to the ground floor of the south-west wing also have transoms. In the alterations of c. 1920 the courtyard in the angle between the two parts has had a similar gabled wing built upon it, containing the dining-room, &c., but the windows in the old walls that looked into the courtyard have been retained in the dining-room. There are four original Tudor fire-places with moulded stone jambs and four-centred and square heads. One at the south end of the long hall that occupies two-thirds of the main block has a portcullis carved in each spandrel. The fire-place in the modern dining-room is in its original chimney-stack but turned the other way. The chimney-stacks have diagonal shafts.