History

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The name, Ilsington, is derived from the Domesday name, Ilestintona, which may have developed from the old English personal name, Ielfstan, when the village was first invaded by the Saxons. The Parish of Ilsington is full of the evidence of its history since prehistoric times.  The following list includes just some of the interesting things that can still be seen.

Pre-history Prehistoric field boundaries (reaves) still forming part of Parish boundary near Prince of Wales boundary stone.
Prehistoric hut circles on east side of Smallacombe rocks.
11th Century 1st church built on present site of St.Michael's Parish church?
15th Century Parish church rebuilt as we mainly see it now.
16th Century John Ford (Elizabethan dramatist) born at Bagtor House
18th Century Silverbrook mine - remains still visible in woods south-east of Ilsington village.
Extensive tin mining  south of Pinchaford Ball.
19th Century Granite tramway constructed to carry granite from Haytor quarries. Quarries, tramway and miners huts and buildings still visible to north of Haytor Rocks.
Many Iron, Tin and Copper mines around Smallacombe. Much evidence of earthworks, old burning house near Ilsington and entrance to Haytor Iron mine visible from footpath which runs from Green Lane end to Haytor Vale.

It is not the intention of this website to go into more depth on the fascinating history of Ilsington Parish but the following sources of information will be of interest :-

The Book of Ilsington A fascinating history of the Parish by local historian, Dick Wills. Not to be missed - every parishioner should have a copy!
A History of Ilsington Another excellent history of the Parish, by local historian, Bill Ransom.  Well worth having, in addition to The Book of Ilsington.
Early Devon Maps Maps for sale from Devon Record Office
Genuki Geneology site but with many useful references to local history.
Greenwood's map of Devon, 1827 1827 map on Devon County Council site
Local Studies Devon County Council's Local Studies homepage
Local Photographs A few old photographs of Ilsington available to buy online.
Local Mines A couple of references to Ilsington mines.
Local Mines Listing of Devon Mines in 1896
Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer. 1870 A description of the parish in 1870
The Templer Way by Derek Beavis Book with some history of Ilsington section. ISBN 0 946651 51 5
Along the Lemon by Judy Chard Book with some history of Ilsington section. ISBN 0 9519027 4 1
Dartmoor National Parks Walks no.4 Local walks in Haytor and Ilsington areas with some history. ISBN 0 905981 05 7
Dartmoor 365 Book including a page on each square mile of Ilsington Parish. ISBN 0 9514037 2 9
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