The name Allington is believed to date back to Anglo-Saxon times and there is evidence of a settlement being here in the Neolithic era. Some Roman artefacts have been found in the vicinity of the village and by the time of the Domesday Book the population was 300. In the mid 17th century there are records of two returns of population which show some 250 people living in Allington. Later in 1881 the population was recorded at 416 and by the census of 2001, the population had grown to 792.
The land around Allington was divided into three manors in early times and was bought and sold or used in marriage contracts by a number of people. It was also used by monarchs as a gift to favoured gentry. By the 18th Century, most of the surrounding land had become the property of the Williamsons. It subsequently transferred to the Welbys and in 1947 the estate was dispersed.
The Church has always been an important part of village life. For many years the village was separated for ecclesiastical purposes into the parishes of East and West Allington. The parishes were united in 1896 and the Church of St James in East Allington was demolished. The grave-yard is still visible and a cross now stands where the altar once stood. The surviving Holy Trinity Church that dates from the 12th century continues to serve the whole community.
The 19th Century brought education to the village in the form of the first school which was established on the village green in 1847. It moved to its present site in 1906 and has continued to expand. In 2003/04 the school was extended to provide a new hall, ICT suite and library.
During the two world wars, 32 Allington residents served in the armed forces. Remarkably all returned home and consequently the village is one of a grateful few that does not support a War Memorial. During the Second World War many persons were exempt from service because, as farm labourers, their work was vital to the home effort. The war years saw Welby Hall becoming a military hospital and a POW Camp was established in the village which held Germans and later Italian prisoners.
Allington has a long agricultural history and for many years farming was the pre-eminent occupation in the village. At the time of the 1851 census, 75% of villagers worked on the land or as domestic servants. At this time the village had some 25 persons with a trade or skill other than farming. This number had risen to over 30 by 1881. The Parish Register of 1863 shows a shop-keeper and there are references to a shop as early as 1746. A post office was established on the village green in 1863 and there were originally two pubs, The Plough, now known as the White House and The Spread Eagle now The Welby Arms.
Electricity came to the village in 1933 followed by mains water in 1948 and mains drainage in 1952.
The photos below can all be seen in their original size and resolution on the Allington Flickr account. If anyone wants to add to this collection we’d be happy to publish your contributions. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Changing Face of Allington
This picture uses two images. The map is part of the Ordnance Survey six-inch series produced between 1888 and 1913. The recent satellite image is from Bing. You can drag one layer over the other using the separator line in the centre of the picture.
If you want to discover more about the way in which our landscape has changed in the past 100 years or so there is a superb free resource provided by the National Library of Scotland where you can compare old maps and satellite imagery and much more right across the UK. If you follow this link to the library website it should open on Allington. From there you can navigate as you wish.