|Ilchester is a village situated on the River Yeo or Ivel, five miles north of Yeovil, in the English county of Somerset. Originally a Roman town, and later a market town, Ilchester has a rich medieval history and was a notable settlement in the county; and around the 12th and 13th centuries it was effectively the county town. It had, however, declined in size and importance by the beginning of the 18th century. From 973 Ilchester had a mint which continued operating until the mid-13th century.
Ilchester Friary was founded between 1221 and 1260 as a Dominican monastery. The buildings were restored in the 13th and 14th centuries until the site occupied a four acre site, and by the 15th century it extended beyond the town walls. Ilchester Nunnery was founded around 1217–1220 originally as White Hall Hospital and, by 1281, had been converted into an Augustinian nunnery.
Although Ilchester was an important centre in the thirteenth century, it is the third scarcest of the provincial mints, with 202 coins documented for the Brussels hoard, and only 37 for the Colchester hoard. Classes represented in the Brussels hoard range from the rare 3a2 pennies (only 4 specimens) through to class 3c. Moneyers active at Ilchester were Hugo le Rus, Gervasius Gris, Randulf Fardein and Stephen le Rus. Hugo and Stephen may well have been related, and between them produced about half the known specimens from the two hoards; however Stephens’ coins are scarcer than those of Hugo.