Acreage: 1,150 (1,486 since 1932).
Population: 1911, 371; 1921, 424; 1931, 516 (on
Shilton is a parish and village, on the Hinckley road
5½ miles north-east from Coventry. The boundaries
are not marked by any prominent natural features, and
the whole history of the parish is closely bound up with
Ansty, ½ mile nearer Coventry on the main road, and
Barnacle, a hamlet of Bulkington partly in this parish.
The village lies centrally in the parish at about 350 ft.
above sea-level and is a compact settlement, at the point
where the important secondary road leaves the main
road for Bulkington and Nuneaton, and minor roads
diverge eastwards to Hopsford and Withybrook and
westwards to Barnacle. The main line of the former
L.M.S.R. from Rugby to Crewe runs diagonally across
the parish and has a station at the village; the church is
close to the railway and well seen from it. An Inclosure
Act for 155/8 yardlands, or 547 acres, was passed in
1772. (fn. 1) Shilton was probably the birthplace of Christopher St. German (?1460–1540), legal writer, whose
handbook for law students, usually known as 'Doctor
and Student', remained the chief text-book till the
appearance of Blackstone's Commentaries. (fn. 2)
SHILTON, a 2-hide vill in Domesday
Book, was then held by the Count of
Meulan with Wallef, who had been a free
tenant before 1066, under him. (fn. 3) It later became part
of the estates of the earldom of Warwick, but evidence
of its history is not plentiful. Shilton was at times
closely connected with Barnacle in Bulkington and with
Ansty, being held with the former as half a knight's fee
of the Earl of Warwick by John 'Aygne' in 1315, (fn. 4) and
was reckoned as one with both these places (sunt una
villa) in the following year under the lordship of
Henry le Irreis of Ansty. (fn. 5) By 1420 a sub-tenancy had
been granted to the Beauchamp family of Holt (Worcs.),
Sir John Beauchamp in that year holding Shilton and
Barnacle of the heirs of Henry Dyve by service of half
a knight's fee. (fn. 6) His heir was his daughter Margaret,
then wife of John Pauncefote, but there is no further
evidence of the descent of the manor till 1513, when
Ralph Swillington, Recorder of Coventry, and Elizabeth his wife made a settlement of it. (fn. 7) Elizabeth subsequently married Thomas Essex, (fn. 8) and Edward Essex
was vouchee in a recovery of 1559. (fn. 9) By 1730 there
were two manors or lordships, the more important in
the hands of the Dean and Canons of Windsor (fn. 10) (who
also held Ansty), who were still lords in 1850; (fn. 11) the
other lordship was in the hands of Henry Neale of
Allesley. (fn. 12) His descendants held it for more than a
century. (fn. 13) The manorial rights in 1932 were recorded
as divided between the Duke of Buccleuch and Mr.
G. E. Jarvis. (fn. 14)
The manor of BARNACLE HALL extended into
this parish and in 1388–9 was held of John Dyve as of
his manor of Deddington (Oxon.). (fn. 15) For further
details see the descent of this manor in Bulkington.
The church of ST. ANDREW is
situated on a rise in the centre of the
village, standing in a small churchyard. It
dates from the late 13th century, but was rebuilt in the
14th and again in the 15th century, when the tower was
built. In 1865 an outer north aisle was added under
the supervision of Sir Gilbert Scott, the chancel being
restored at the same time. Owing to the slope of the
ground and the proximity of the main road, a south
aisle was impracticable. It consists of a chancel, nave,
north and outer north aisles, chapel, and a south
The chancel is built of light-coloured sandstone with
diagonal buttresses at the angles; it has a plinth of one
splay and a tiled roof. It is lighted on the east by a
pointed traceried window of three trefoil lights with a
hood-mould; on the south by a square-headed window
of two trefoil lights and a lancet of two splayed orders;
and on the north by two similar windows. Between the
windows on the north side there is a blocked pointed
doorway of two splayed orders, restored, but retaining
its original hood-mould with mask stops. The east wall
has been entirely rebuilt, the north refaced and the
south patched with red sandstone. The nave wall is
divided into three bays by buttresses, the centre bay
occupied by the porch. It is built of squared and
coursed sandstone, extensively patched, and has a
battlemented parapet with restored crocketed pinnacles at each end and one central. It is lighted by a
pointed traceried window of two cinquefoil lights in
each of the end bays, and by two square-headed windows of two cinquefoil lights high up in the wall, one
on each side of the porch. The pointed windows have
hood-moulds with head stops; the square have hoods
without stops; all are partly restored. The porch is
timber-framed, with its original moulded posts and head
forming the entrance under a half-timbered gable.
The sides are formed of open traceried panels with
modern matchboarding below. It is roofed with tiles,
is paved with stone, and has a stone seat on both sides.
The doorway has a wave-moulded pointed arch, the
mouldings prolonged to splayed stops; its hood-mould
is without stops.
The east end of the north aisle is lighted by a pointed
traceried window of three trefoil lights with a hoodmould, the outer aisle by a replica of it. The 19thcentury north wall is partly constructed of stones from
the original wall, including some from the door, window, and buttresses. It is lighted towards the east by a
square-headed window of two trefoil lights, re-using
an original head, and has a wave-moulded pointed
doorway towards the west, partly original re-used.
The chapel, which has a rebuilt diagonal buttress, is
lighted on the north by a pointed traceried window of
two cinquefoil lights with a hood-mould, all much
restored. Both aisles have low-pitched lead-covered
roofs, and in the 19th century a battlemented parapet,
to correspond with the south side, was added.
The tower, which has a moulded plinth, rises in
three stages, the upper stage diminished by a weathered
offset and terminating in a battlemented parapet with
crocketed finials at each angle. There are diagonal
buttresses at each angle; the north-east one, which
contains a circular stair to the ringing chamber, is at
right angles to a point half-way up the second stage,
where it becomes diagonal. The west door has a fourcentred arch of one splay under a square head and sunk
spandrels, and above, in a deep splay, a pointed threelight window, centre light pointed, the outer cinquefoil. It is partly restored and has a hood-mould with
return ends. On the north there is a loop-light to the
ringing chamber and two to the tower staircase; on the
south there is a clock dial. The belfry, on each face,
has pointed, transomed, traceried windows of two trefoil lights, set in deep splays with hood-moulds.
The chancel (28 ft. by 17 ft. 1 in.) has a modern
tiled floor with three steps to a modern altar. The walls
are plastered and decorated with 19th-century paintings of vine scrolls, texts, angels, and a figure of St.
Andrew, all faded and discoloured. The organ is
placed against the north wall between the two windows. In the south wall at the east end there is a
piscina with an arch of two splays and a circular basin.
Both lancets and the east windows have wide splayed
reveals with pointed rear-arches, the others have square
heads. The roof is matchboarded on the underside.
With the exception of the chancel all the walls are
The nave (40 ft. 4 in. by 16 ft.) has an open lowpitched roof of four bays with moulded members, the
wall-plate moulded and battlemented. Each of the
beams has a carved boss in the centre and curved
brackets resting on stone corbels, probably early 16th
century, restored. At the east end of the south wall
there is an unusual piscina, it has an ogee head to the
nave and another, its head slightly lower, in the
splayed reveal of the window, which has a trefoilheaded panel, leaving a small shaft to support the angle;
the basin has been mutilated. The arcade consists of
three bays of pointed arches of two splayed orders with
hood-moulds, on octagonal pillars with moulded
capitals and splayed bases and at the east end on a
mutilated corbel, at the other end on a half-octagonal
respond against an octagonal pillar which forms the
pillar for the chapel arch; the latter has two splayed
orders on the nave side, and three on the other; it is
supported on half-octagonal responds, one against the
pillar, the other against the wall. The chancel arch has
been destroyed and replaced by a modern roof truss.
The tower arch is of two orders, the inner moulded,
the outer a splay, the inner has a pointed arch, the
outer on the nave side is segmental-pointed. The two
windows high up have square heads to deep recesses,
the two lower pointed rear-arches with hood-moulds
and head-stops; the doorway is stop-chamfered segmental-pointed. Fixed in a modern barrier to the
chancel there are five carved traceried panels, probably
late 15th century. The pulpit, placed to the north of
the chancel, is a modern one of oak with carved
traceried panels, on a stone base. The font, standing
in the north-west angle, is a modern one of red sandstone, octagonal, with quatrefoil panels on an octagonal
stem, the lead-lined basin supported on carved female
heads at each corner.
Two memorial slabs, to Sir Roger Feilding of Barnacle Hall and his nephew Basil, a J.P. in the reign of
Charles II, were removed from the church in 1866
to pave the porch. They had been obliterated by 1933,
when the porch was repaired with floor-slabs from the
Guest House of the monastery at Coventry. (fn. 15a)
The aisle (29 ft. 3 in. by 8 ft. 10 in.) has a lean-to
roof with moulded beams and purlins, contemporary
with the nave roof; the rafters and wall-plates have been
renewed. The arch to the chapel is pointed, of two
splayed orders continued as responds to splayed bases
on square pedestals.
The chapel (8 ft. 7 in. by 8 ft.) at the west end of
the nave has a modern lean-to roof.
The outer aisle (28 ft. 8 in. by 12 ft.) has a king-post
roof of low pitch with moulded members. The arcade
of three bays is a copy of the original in the aisle, but
with moulded bases instead of splayed and one pillar
circular instead of octagonal. The western bay has
been enclosed by an oak screen to form a vestry.
The tower (9 ft. by 9 ft.) window and doorway both
have four-centred rear-arches; and in the north-east
angle is a doorway to the tower staircase with a fourcentred head, fitted with its original oak door of two
vertical panels. The staircase stops at the ringing
chamber, the belfry being reached by a ladder.
In the upper nave window to the east there are two
late-16th-century heraldic shields of coloured glass: (1)
Azure a cheveron ermine between three eaglets argent
(for Essex). (2) Essex impaling sable a cheveron
argent between three crescents ermine (for Babthorpe). (fn. 16)
The plate includes a silver gilt chalice and cover of
There were four bells: (1 and 2) by Edward Arnold
of Leicester, 1795; (3) by Newcombe, 1603; (4) by
John Greene of Worcester, 1614. (fn. 17) In 1925 all of
these, except no. 2, were recast and two more added
by Gillett and Johnstone.
The registers commence in 1695.
Shilton was originally a chapelry of
Bulkington, and in the possession of
Leicester Abbey by the gift of Roger
de Waterville, but was with Ansty transferred to
Coventry Priory at an early date in return for an
annual payment of £10; (fn. 18) it was among the chapels
'restored' to the priory by Earl Ranulf between 1140
and 1153. (fn. 19) About 1410 it was put on record that the
chapels of Ansty and Shilton were never members of
St. Michael's, Coventry, but were a rectory in themselves, Ansty being the principal chapel and Shilton
dependent thereon; parishioners had to be buried at the
mother church of St. Mary, Coventry. (fn. 20) In 1535 it
was served by a stipendiary priest, removable at the
will of the prior, who received the small tithes and
minor offerings, estimated at £5 a year. (fn. 21) It remained
a curacy till the late 19th century, (fn. 22) but is now combined with Ansty as a vicarage. The patronage has
been with the Crown since the Reformation, and is
now exercised by the Lord Chancellor.
John Grace by will in 1715 gave
£30 to the poor of the parish.
The Waste Land, otherwise The
Town Ley. By an Act for inclosing the common fields
of this parish a piece of land containing 3 r. 16 p. was
awarded unto and for the poor inhabitants for the
purpose only of cutting furze thereon.
The above-mentioned charities are regulated by a
scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 12 June
1906 under the title of the Eleemosynary Charity.
The scheme appoints a body of trustees to administer
the annual income, amounting to 17s. 8d., for the
benefit of the poor of the parish.
William Rainbow by will dated 3 January 1916
bequeathed £80, the dividends thereon to be distributed in equal proportions on St. Thomas's Day among
all persons resident in the parish who shall be in receipt
of Old Age Pensions under any Act of Parliament for
the time being in force.