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Ilmington (St. Mary)

ILMINGTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Shipston-upon-Stour, partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Kiftsgate, E. division of the county of Gloucester, but chiefly in a detached part of the hundred of Kineton, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Shipston; containing 891 inhabitants, of whom 18 are in Gloucestershire, in the hamlet of Lark-Stoke. This parish, the name of which is derived from its hilly position, is divided into four hamlets, Ilmington, Foxcote, Compton-Scorpion, and Stoke. Ilmington anciently belonged to Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester; and the celebrated Heriot, the goldsmith (who died in 1624), was proprietor of the principal part of the hamlet: the manor was sold with the chief and quit-rents, in 1699, by Algernon Capel, Earl of Essex, to Martin Bedwell, Esq.; whose representative, C. L. Greaves, Esq., is the present proprietor. The parish comprises by computation 3700 acres; the scenery is strikingly romantic, and well wooded. Stone is quarried for the repair of the roads, and a few of the inhabitants are employed in winding silk manufactured at the mills of Blockley and Chipping-Campden. The road from Chipping-Campden to Stratford, and the tramway from Stratford to Shipston and Moreton, pass through the parish. Foxcote was formerly the seat of the Cannings, but now belongs to P. H. Howard, Esq., by his marriage with the heiress of that family.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30, net income, about £700; patron and incumbent, the Rev. E. J. Townsend. The commons were inclosed in 1782, when lands were allotted to the rector in lieu of tithes for Ilmington and Foxcote; an annual rentcharge of £45 is payable from Stoke, and a small modus from Compton. The glebe altogether consists of about 420 acres, and there is a modern rectory-house, at some distance from the village: the former house stood near the church. The church is ancient, and exhibits many varieties of style; on the north side is a chapel, appropriated chiefly to the inhabitants of Stoke and Compton, and in it are many memorials of interments of the families of Palmer of Compton, and Brent of Stoke, both long extinct: the church has very lately been restored and much enlarged. Attached to Foxcote mansion is a Roman Catholic chapel. There is a national school. A strong chalybeate spring, about a quarter of a mile to the north-west of the village, was formerly much frequented; the ground around it was given to the public in 1684 by Algernon Capel, Earl of Essex, then lord of the manor, who also inclosed it with a wall, and erected a house for the accommodation of visiters. The water, however, is now hardly to be recognised, from long neglect and disuse.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.