infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.0011
longitude= -2.6825
official_name= Ilchester
population = 2,021 [cite web | title=Population estimates 2002| work=Somerset County Council | url= | accessdate=2006-11-11]
shire_district= South Somerset
shire_county = Somerset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Yeovil
post_town= YEOVIL
postcode_district = BA22
postcode_area= BA
dial_code= 01935
os_grid_reference= ST522226

Ilchester is a village and civil parish, situated on the River Yeo five miles north of Yeovil, in the English county of Somerset. The village has a population of 2,021. [cite web | title=Population estimates 2002| work=Somerset County Council | url= | accessdate=2006-11-11]

It is perhaps best known for the Ilchester Cheese Company.


Roman times

In the Roman period, the village was named "Lindinis" and was the site of a fort and then a town on the Fosse Way. It eventually served as one of two regional capitals for the Durotriges tribe.cite book |last=Dunning |first=Robert |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=A History of Somerset |year=1983 |publisher=Phillimore & Co |location=Chichester |id=ISBN 0-85033-461-6 ]

Medieval times

Around 1000AD there was a mint at Ilchester, which was moved to South Cadbury following attacks by the Danes, and prior to the Siege of Ilchester in 1088.

The town was a base for Henry III of England for a short period in 1250.

During the 11th and 12th century it was the county town of Somerset.

The town has a 13th century mace with three kings and an angel on it, and is the oldest staff of office in England.cite book |title=Curiosities of Somerset |last=Leete-Hodge |first=Lornie |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1985 |publisher=Bossiney Books |location=Bodmin |isbn=0906456983 |pages=73 ]

Georgian times

Ilchester was the parliamentary seat of Sir William Manners (later Lord Huntingtower) in 1802, 1812 and 1818, however it is said that he maintained his position by demolishing the houses of his opponents and putting them in the workhouse which meant they did not have the vote. This was defeated by Lord Darlington who built houses for his supporters and thereby became the Member of Parliament.


Ilchester had at least eight churches in medieval times of which two remain. The church of St. Mary Major dates from the 13th century and is a grade II* listed building, [cite web | title=church of St. Mary Major | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2006-11-11] as is the Church of St Andrew which is slightly more recent. [cite web | title=church of St. Andrew | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2006-11-11]

Notable people from Ilchester

* Richard of Ilchester, also called Richard of Toclyve or Richard of Toclive (d.December 22 1188) was a medieval English statesman and prelate
* Roger Bacon, who was a key medieval scientist, is said to have been born in or near Ilchester. He was known as "Doctor Mirabilis" and was one of the first to insist on the use of experimentation to back theory.


External links

* The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey: [ Ilchester] , by Miranda Richardson
* [ Photos of Ilchester in 3d (Anaglyphs)]

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