Ilsley, West

Location

West Ilsley lies in a downland hollow, 11 miles north-west of Newbury and a mile and a half from its more populous sister village, East Ilsley.

Local place names

Hodcutt/Oddcut; Parson's Copse; Harcourt Farm; Tithe Farm

Size

3,038 acres (1,230 hectares)

Population

406 in 1851; 332 in 2011

Hundred

Compton

Poor Law union

Wantage

Registration district

Wantage

Present-day local authority

West Berkshire

Grid reference

SU 47 82

Adjoining parishes in 1851

Blewbury, Catmore, Chilton, East Hendred, Farnborough, East Ilsley, West Hendred

Genealogical resources

Available from BerksFHS Books:
  • Berkshire Baptisms 2nd ed CD covering All Saints 1558 - 1870
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed CD covering All Saints 1560 - 1839
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed CD covering All Saints 1558 - 1967

Newbury Library holds typed transcripts of the parish register.

Links

village website

Published local history

  • H W Sowdon West Ilsley, Berks: a village of some importance (Blacket Turner, 1913)
  • Wiliam Hewett History and antiquities of the hundred of Compton...(inc East Ilsley) (John Snare, 1844)
  • Sue Burnay Time gentlemen please: 300 years of pubs and brewing in East and West Ilsley (Sigma Books, 2003)

Anglican church and parochial organisation

West Ilsley is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford, although patronage and probate formerly belonged to the Peculiar of Dean & Canons of Windsor.

The church of All Saints was comprehensively remodelled in late Victorian times, such that almost no trace of its twelfth-century predecessor remains, other than the roof of the nave.

Other churches

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel existed in 1840, and a Baptist chapel was built in 1866.

Schools

The 1818 report to the House of Commons committee on education cited a 1713 account of charity schools in Berkshire, which noted a school in West Ilsley, supprted by the rector, teaching 10 children.

A National school for boys and girls was recorded in 1840, 1854 and 1868, as were two Sunday schools. A schoolmistress was enumerated in the village in the census of 1851.

The modern primary school combined with that of East Ilsley in 1966.

Pubs

The Post Office directory of 1854 recorded the Arrow inn. Today's pub, almost certainly the same, is the Harrow. 

Other local history

The Morland brewery was first set up in West Ilsley in 1711 by John Morland, a local farmer; the expanding business moved to Abingdon in 1887.

West Ilsley has Mick Channon's and Denis Coakley's racehorse training yards, and the village website claims the eighteenth-century Duke of Cumberland's racing establishment at Kates Gore as its own - but so does East Ilsley.

Additional information