Shilton is situated in West Oxfordshire

Shilton  is a Cotswold Parish of three communities: Shilton, Stonelands and Bradwell Grove.

 

Shilton is the old heart of the area and is sited on the banks of the Shill Brook, which feeds into the River Thames six miles to the South.

 

This ancient  village remains relatively unspoiled as a farming village and has been awarded a Conservation Area Status for its location and appearance.

 

Shilton has retained its meadows that sweep down to the heart of the village in a way that binds the settlement with its surrounding country.

 

Bradwell Grove, three quarters of a mile to the west,  is a recently developed village built on the site of an old military hospital. 

Bradwell Grove  is also the location for the Elizabeth Finn Care Home and nearby is the famous Cotswold Wildlife Park.

 

Stonelands  is at the opposite end of the Parish and is thought that  its name is derived from the name Sworn Lains, a reference to its use as a retreat for unmarried women to give birth to their children outside any church parish boundary.  In the 17th century this corner of the country was in a space between the boundaries of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

 

All that remains of the old hall,  are some of its outlying buildings and dwellings.

 

 

A Brief History of Shilton
(By courtesy of the Shilton History Group)
 
The centre of Cistercian land in Shilton was situated in the area of the Old Manor. From the evidence we have, it appears to have been a typical manorial economy.
 
 
What remains now:
  • Part of the tithe barn - now Headford  House
  • The Grange - now the Old Manor
  • The Dovecote - now the stewpond
  • Congyer and the water meadow.
 
 
It is unlikely that there would have been monks living in Shilton. A reeve and lay brothers would have administered the land.
 
 
We are fortunate to have the Beaulieu accounts for Shilton for the year 1270 which  provide a fascinating glimpse of life  in that year.
 
 
For example we learn that there were 20 oxen on the land, one of which died of murrain. Every animal is accounted for, also  as the arable crops and all living expenses and income.

 

 

 

A Brief History of Shilton
(By courtesy of the Shilton History Group)
 
Roman Akeman Street runs through the west of the parish of Shilton yet other than a couple of coins, there has been no other indications of a Roman settlement here.
 
Shilton emerges from the Dark Ages as a Saxon tun - a village on a ledge or bank .
It belonged, just before the Norman Conquest, to the Godwin family.
 
Through Harold Godwinson, killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, it passed to the crown under William the Conqueror. As a Crown property Shilton was not included in the Domesday Book. 
 
In 1203  King John planned to give his Faringdon manor to the Cistercian monks.
 
Apart from the church, the barn and grange would have been the only stone buildings in Shilton at that time.
Other houses would most likely have been conctructed of wood, or wattle and daub.
 
When the Cistercians established themselves at Beaulieu, in the New Forest, King John granted them Faringdon Manor including Shilton in 1205.
 
Around 1220, Ralph of Shilton granted more land to the Cistercians by several charters and  was confirmed by his second wife Juliana and son Robert.