Ilton is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 8 miles (12.9 km) south-east of Taunton, and 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Ilminster in the South Somerset district. The village has a population of 854. The parish includes the hamlets of Ilford and Cad Green with its 16th-century almshouses.
About 1 mile west-north-west of the parish church, situated between the disused railway line and the disused Chard Canal, is a moated site which is all that remains of the medieval fortified manor house of Merryfield (or Muryfield), which was the seat of the ancient Wadham family. The last of the family in the direct male line was Nicholas Wadham who, with his wife Dorothy Petre, founded Wadham College, Oxford in 1610.
Monuments to the Wadham family survive in the Church of St Peter, Ilton and also in the nearby Church of St Mary, Ilminster. The three sisters of Nicholas Wadham were (in their issue) his heirs, one of whom was Florence Wadham (died 1596), wife of Sir John Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, and mother of Sir John Wyndham (1558-1645).
The Wyndham family, which later commonly used the first name "Wadham", inherited the estate of Merryfield and the "Wyndham Estate" is still today the largest employer in the village of Ilton. It bears no relation to the present large 19th-century grade II listed mansion known as Merryfield House, immediately south of the parish church.
In the 18th century the Chard Canal was built close to the village. This had been intended as a part of a ship canal, passable by vessels of up to 200 tons, between the Bristol Channel and the English Channel, but was never completed.
Ilton Halt was a small railway station on the Chard Branch Line which closed in 1962. It included a platform of concrete construction.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council's operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Chard Rural District. The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
The village is in 'Islemoor' electoral ward. From Ilton the ward stretches north to Fivehead via Beercrocombe or Hambridge and Westport. The total population for this ward taken at the 2011 census was 2,772.
It is also part of the Yeovil county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
On the outskirts of the village is the well known gypsy camp which, in 2016, made national headlines with three brothers involved in a feud shooting resulting in the death of local resident.
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- "Church of St Peter". historicengland.org.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "Somerset caravan site shooting: three brothers sentenced for murder and manslaughter". ITV News. Retrieved 6 November 2017.