Ettington is an Ancient Parish in the county of Warwickshire.
Alternative Names: Eatington, Lower Eatington
The toponym “Ettington” is derived from the Old English words ea for water and don for ascending ground or meadow. The name has evolved through several forms including Eatenden and Eatington. The latter is still used sometimes by locals.
There used to be a Lower and Upper Ettington. Lower Ettington was beside the River Stour but was demolished in the 18th century. The present village is what used to be called Upper Ettington, and is on higher ground about 1¼ miles (2 km) to the northeast.
Other places in the parish include: Lower Eatington, Upper Eatington, Fulready, Lambcote, and Thornton.
Parish registers begin: 1661
Nonconformists in Eatington include: Independent/Congregational, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.
Ettington has had three successive parish churches on different sites: the first at Lower Ettington and the second and third at Upper Ettington. In the Middle Ages here was also a chantry chapel at Upper Ettington.
The original parish church of the Holy Trinity was in Lower Ettington. It is a 12th-century Norman building with later additions. Early in the 13th century Henry Shirley had an altar to St Nicholas erected in the church. As a result, the church is also known as St Nicholas’. A north aisle with three-bay arcade was added in the 14th century. The windows on the south side of the nave were replaced in the 17th century.
In the 16th-century Dissolution of the Monasteries the chantry at Upper Ettington was dissolved. Its chapel was converted into three almshouses, which were still in use in 1730. The building is now a thatched cottage, Rose Cottage.
In 1794 a parish vestry meeting decided to replace the ancient church in Lower Ettington with a new one in Upper Ettington, which had become the centre of population even before Evelyn Shirley had the old village demolished. In 1795 Parliament passed an act authorising this and in 1798 the new church of St Thomas of Canterbury was consecrated. The 12th-century church was abandoned, but in 1823 its south transept was restored as a mortuary chapel for the Shirleys. The rest of the original church, including its broad and distinctive tower, survives as a roofless ruin. It is a scheduled monument and a Grade I listed building.
St Thomas’ parish church was reputed to be the ugliest in Warwickshire. A new Gothic Revival church to replace it was began in 1902 and completed in 1903. The 18th-century church was demolished in 1913, except for the tower and west wall of the nave, which survive as a mortuary chapel.
The tower of the present Holy Trinity parish church has a ring of four bells. Edward Newcombe, who had bell foundries at Leicester and Bedford, cast the treble and second bell for the original parish church in 1595. Richard I Purdue, who had bellfoundries in Somerset at Glastonbury and Stoford, cast the third bell in 1624. John Briant of Hertford cast the tenor bell in 1803, five years after St Thomas’ church was built.
The Society of Friends had members in Ettington by 1664 and their founder George Fox preached at Lambcote farm in the parish in 1678. The Friends’ burial ground was established in 1681. The meeting house was completed in 1684 and is a Grade II* listed building.
A Congregational chapel was built in 1804 and enlarged in 1846. It is now a private house. A Methodist chapel was built in 1836 and was still being used for worship in 1949.
Eatington, a parish in two divisions, Lower and Upper, in the Kington division of the hundred of Kington, county of Warwick, containing 641 inhabitants. Lower Eatington is 6¾ miles (S.W. by W.), and Upper Eatington 5¼ (W.S.W.), from Kington. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester, rated in the king’s books at £12. 0. 7½., and in the patronage of Evelyn John Shirley, Esq. The church, which is in Lower Eatington, is dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket. A chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, which stood in Upper Eatington, was pulled down about thirty years since, and rebuilt at Lower Eatington, which contains the greater part of the population. There is a place of worship for Baptists. In 1807, Sarah Roberts bequeathed a sum of £200, directing the interest to be applied to the education of poor children; about ﬁfty are instructed. On the south-west, this parish is bounded by the river Stour.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1831