Our Village

SHILTON

Shilton is a small village situated almost equidistant from Coventry, Rugby and Nuneaton. The former A 46 road which ran from Bath in Somerset to Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire goes through the village.  This road was a coaching route and The Crown Inn (now the Shilton Arms) was a stopping place for the coaches to change horses.

Shilton is an ancient village having been mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1068.

The village is cut in two by the main railway line from London to Liverpool. The village had a station from 1857 when the line was opened until 1957 when the station was closed. It was possible at one time to get on the train and go north to Liverpool or take the southern direction to London. Shilton was a magnet for train spotters and at weekends, especially, the two bridges in the village were crowded with spectators.

There was a village school in Shilton from 1725 when the school was established by money left in the will of the Rev. Million. This school was demolished, together with a group of cottages in the centre of the village, to make way for the railway line. This school was closed in 2003 and the children were transferred to Wolvey School. The building is now used for a pre-school nursery.

Over the years the occupations of the inhabitants have changed with the economic climate. For centuries the village supplied labour for the local farms and for woodcutting at Coombe Abbey and the surrounding woods. Bricks were still being manufactured at Shilton Brickyard until about 1946. The land is now an industrial estate and another small industrial estate is situated the other side of the M69 motorway which goes through the village. 

During the nineteenth century ribbon making was very important in the village and many of the cottages had their own looms. The silk was collected from the manufacturers in Coventry (Cash’s and Franklins) by the local carrier. It was delivered to the weavers in the village and woven into ribbons and tapes; these would be sent back to Coventry with the carrier and the circle would start again. Unfortunately fashions changed and the ribbons were not needed for the dresses and bonnets. The decline in the ribbon industry caused great hardship in the villages and many people emigrated because of the poverty. 

Some of the men from the village worked as miners in the small pits which were set up locally for example the Wyken Colliery, the Alexandra Colliery and the Craven Colliery.

Shilton has a parish Church, the Church of St. Andrew and a Baptist Chapel.

There is a Village Hall and a large well used Playing Field with a Children’s Corner. All these have been provided by money raised by the local people. They are run by volunteers and are well used by the community.

Shilton is still a peaceful village and a lot of the villagers are commuters and travel to surrounding towns for their work. Unfortunately there are no shops and only one pub and a garage. People still get together at Church or Chapel and events are run by the Village Hall Committee.