Hillon path

Hillon path

Part of an ancient footpath from Yeovil to Ilchester


At one time there was a continuous footpath from Yeovil to Yeovil Marsh and eventually to Ilchester by ancient footpaths and lanes. It started at Kingston at Red Lion Lane, continued along Roping Path to Mudford Road. It then crossed the road and entered a large field called Green Cross laying roughly between the modern southern entrance to Yeovil College and Goldcroft and probably spanning both sides of Mudford Road, albeit chiefly to the west. As it continued across Green Cross, the footpath was known as Hillon Path and is referred to in the Terrier of 1589 "....  one acre and half, next Hillon path....".

After passing through Green Cross, Hillon Path entered another large ancient field called Pikes which covered a large part of the land between Marsh Lane to the west, Mudford Road to the east and Combe Street Lane to the north. Pikes, also occasionally referred to as "Coomb Street", was originally part of the great Medieval Middle Field of Kingston Manor. The field was still called Pikes, and is noted as such on an indenture, in 1800.

Over time the name of Hillon Path became corrupted to Hellam Path and this, in turn, became corrupted to Elm Path. Furthermore the name of the footpath became the name of the field called Pikes. The marriage settlement of John Ryall Mayo and Penelope Worsfold Randall of 29 September 1824 refers to a "Close of Pasture Ground formerly called Pikes otherwise Coomb Street but then called Higher Elm Path otherwise Higher Hellam Path".

By Victorian times the large field formerly called Pikes had assumed the name of the footpath and had become known as Elm Path. By the time of the 1846 Tithe Apportionment, Elm Path had been subdivided into Higher Elm Path (Parcel 1094), Middle Elm Path (Parcel 1086) and Lower Elm Path (Parcel 1081).

Today these three fields form the Yeovil Recreation Centre, affectionately known as 'Mudford Rec' - and the footpath formerly known as Hillon Path still runs through it (albeit diverted to one side to avoid the football pitches) and continues on to Ilchester.



This map, based on the descriptions in the 1589 Terrier and the 1846 Tithe Map of Yeovil shows the approximate boundaries of the Manors of Kingston and Hendford as well as the manorial three-field system used in Kingston.


A conjectural map of the great Middle Field of Kingston Manor showing the route of Hillon Path, later Hellam Path, later Elm Path, running from Mudford Road, across Green Cross and then across Pikes to Combe Street Lane - after which it continued on to Yeovil Marsh and then to Ilchester.