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St Mary the Virgin parish church
Ilmington is located in Warwickshire
 Ilmington shown within Warwickshire
Population 712 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SP211435
Civil parish Ilmington
District Stratford-on-Avon
Shire county Warwickshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Shipston-on-Stour
Postcode district CV36
Dialling code 01608
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
Website Ilmington - A Cotswold Village
List of places

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Ilmington is a village and civil parish about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-west of Shipston-on-Stour and 8 miles (13 km) south of Stratford-on-Avon[1] in the Cotswolds (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) in Warwickshire, England. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 census was 712.[2] Ilmington is the highest village in Warwickshire[3] and is at the foot of the Ilmington Downs, which is the highest point in Warwickshire. Residents are called "Ilmingtonians".


In the 10th century the village's toponym was Ylmandunes in Old English.[citation needed] This evolved into Elmington because it had many elm trees.[citation needed] When Dutch Elm Disease came to England it killed the trees and now none remains in the village.

The Elizabethan poet Sir Thomas Overbury was born at Compton Scorpion Manor, just south of the village.[1]

In 1934 the Royal Christmas Message broadcast by King George V of England was relayed worldwide from Ilmington Manor, home of the Flower family, and introduced by 65-year-old Walton Handy, a local shepherd, with carols from the church choir and bell ringing from the church.

The early 18th-century Grade II* listed Foxcote House stands in the village. The house was the seat of the Canning family for many years, it is presently owned by the American lingerie billionaire Les Wexner.[4][5]

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of St Mary the Virgin is Norman and dates from about the middle of the 12th century.[6] Its bell tower has five bells cast by Henry Bagley of Chacombe in 1641,[6] plus three later bells added to make the present ring of eight. The Church of England parish is now part of a single benefice with the parishes of Tredington with Darlingscott Preston-on-Stour, Stretton-on-Fosse and Whitchurch.[7] It cannot be directly accessed by road but instead by a pathway.[8]

Robert Thompson

Robert (Mousey) Thompson of Kilburn carved the pulpit and pews for the church. He also carved his signature mice in eleven places throughout the church.

The Apple Map and June Hobson

June Hobson was a gardener and artist who lived in the village. She inspired villagers to embroider the map that is a copy of old maps which showed where all of the orchards in the village were. It shows that there were an unusually large amount of small orchards in the village. The Apple Map is displayed in the village church. Ilmington Apple Day starts with guided viewing of the Apple Map in the church before a search for some of the 38 different apple varieties grown in the village. Many people come to the Apple Days which celebrate the history of the small orchards in the village. The children at the local school devised the apple walk.


Ilmington has a Church of England primary school.[9] It has a village hall, village shop and Post Office sharing the same building. Ilmington Revolution Football Club plays on Ilmington playing field. Ilmington has a Cotswold Morris dancing side.[10]

Ilmington has two public houses, The Howard Arms (a gastropub) and The Red Lion (Hook Norton Brewery).[11]

The Fifties, Ilmington Remembers

A year-long project began in 2012 recording the memories of people who lived in Ilmington during the 1950s. These oral histories then provided the material for the creation of a play about village life in those days and the impact that events of national significance had on people's lives.

This original piece of theatre coincided with the four day countrywide celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in June 2012. It was performed by actors from the village and was shared with audiences from the local community.

The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has a website[12] that includes a series of recordings from the village's 50s residents.[13]

Notable residents


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Literary Connections - Ilmington".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 29 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Anonymous 2003, p. 66.
  4. Historic England. "Foxcite House (1024118)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Adam Luck and Robert Mendick (24 October 2015). "Billionaire tycoon behind Victoria's Secret 'keeps his multi-million Cotswolds estate away from prying eyes'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Salzman 1949, pp. 98–103
  7. Archbishops' Council. "Ilmington – St. Mary, Ilmington". A Church Near You. Church of England.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "A guide to Ilmington". Information Britain.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Ilmington C of E Primary School
  10. Traditional Ilmington Morris Men
  11. "The Red Lion in Ilmington". Find A Hook Norton Pub. Hook Norton Brewery. 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Fabulous Fifties
  13. Oral Histories

Sources and further reading

  • Anonymous (2003). 50 Walks in Warwickshire & the West Midlands. Basingstoke: AA Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 0-7495-3629-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus; Wedgwood, Alexandra (1966). Warwickshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 316–317.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Salzman, LF, ed. (1949). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Warwick, Volume 5: Kington Hundred. pp. 98–103.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links