Ilminster, Somerset Family History Guide

Ilminster is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Somerset.

Other places in the parish include: Winterhay, Town, Horton, Hillcombe, Hilcombe, Crock Street, and Church.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1652
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1605

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Ilton
  • West Dowlish
  • Cricket Malherbie
  • Ashill
  • Dowlishwake
  • Broadway
  • Whitelackington
  • Knowle St Giles
  • Combe St Nicholas
  • Donyatt
  • Kingstone

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ILMINSTER., a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Chard district, Somerset. The town stands on the river Isle, the Chard canal, and the Chard and Taunton railway, 5 miles N by E of Chard. It takes its name from the river Isle and from its own church or minster. It was a place of some importance in the Saxon times. It was, at one period, more extensive than at present; and it has repeatedly suffered injury by fire. It comprises two long streets, from E to W and from N to S; and contains many good houses. It has a head post office, a railway station, a banking office, two chief inns, a four-arched bridge, a market house, a police station, a church, three dissenting chapels, a grammar school, a large national school, and charities £15; and is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling place. The church belonged to Muchelney abbey; is cruciform and decorated English, with chantry chapel and pinnacled central tower; and contains brasses and monuments of the Wadhams, one of whom was the founder of Wadham College, Oxford. The grammar school was founded in 1550, by H. Waldron, a native; includes a secondary school for the lower branches; and has £900 a year from endowment, and two exhibitions at Oxford. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; a fair is held on the last Wednesday of Aug.; and brewing, flax working., glove making, cloth making, rope making and brick making are carried on. Samwayes, the theologian, was a native. Pop., 2,194. Houses, 468. The parish is divided into the tythings of Town, Horton, Hilcombe, Church, and Winterhay; and contains part of the hamlet of Crock-Street. Acres, 4,050. Real property, £16,419; of which £60 are in gas works, and £40 in the canal. Pop., 3,419. Houses, 685. The manor, with Dillington House, belongs to John L. Lee, Esq. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £500. Patron, Mrs. Scott Gould. The sub-district contains also fourteen other parishes. Acres, 20,220. Pop., 7,448. Houses, 1,568.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Somerset
Civil Registration District: Chard
Probate Court: Court of the Royal Peculiar of Ilminster
Diocese: Bath and Wells
Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 - None, Post-1844 - Crewkerne
Poor Law Union: Chard
Hundred: Abdick and Bulstone
Province: Canterbury