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St Mary the Virgin Church Ilmington.jpg
St Mary's, Ilmington
Grid reference: SP211435
Location: 52°5’24"N, 1°41’35"W
Population: 734  (2001)
Post town: Shipston-on-Stour
Postcode: CV36
Dialling code: 01608
Local Government
Council: Stratford-on-Avon
Website: Ilmington Parish website

Ilmington is a village in Warwickshire, found about eight miles south of Stratford-on-Avon and 3½ north-west of Shipston-on-Stour. It is a Cotswold village, and stands close to the border with Gloucestershire. The ancient parish also includes the township of Lark Stoke in the latter county.

Ilmington is the highest village in Warwickshire, and stands at the foot of the Ilmington Downs. The highest point in Warwickshire is on nearby Ebrington Hill, and although the very top of the hill is in Gloucestershire, the boundary runs over the Ebrington Hill Shoulder just a few yards from the summit and on this boundary is Warwickshire's county top.

Name of the village

In the 10th century, the village was recorded as Ylmandun, which is Old English and means "Elms' Hill". This evolved into today's name. It is believed that the name comes from the many elm trees hereabouts, though such as there were in the twentieth century were destroyed by Dutch elm disease and now no elm trees remain 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 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.

Parish church

The parish church is St Mary the Virgin. It is a Norman church and dates from about the middle of the 12th century.[2] The church cannot be accessed directly by road but instead by a pathway.

The bell tower has five bells cast by Henry Bagley of Chacombe in 1641,[2] plus three later bells added to make the present ring of eight. The parish is now part of a single benefice with the parishes of Preston-on-Stour, Stretton-on-Fosse and Whitchurch.[3]

Robert “Mousey” Thompson of Kilburn, Yorkshire 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 which 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 parish 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.

The village and society

Ilmington has a Church of England primary school.[4] It has a village hall, village shop and Post Office sharing the same building, and two public houses.

Ilmington Revolution Football Club plays on Ilmington playing field.

Ilmington has a Cotswold Morris dancing side.[5]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Ilmington)



  • Pevsner, Nikolaus; Wedgwood, Alexandra (1966). The Buildings of England: Warwickshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 316–317. 
  • Louis Francis Salzman (1949). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Warwick, Volume 5: Kington Hundred. pp. 98–103. 
  • 50 Walks in Warwickshire & the West Midlands. Basingstoke: AA Publishing. 2003. ISBN 0749536292 page=66.