Stratton (Cornish: Strasnedh) is a small town situated near the coastal resort of Bude in north Cornwall, England. It was also the name of one of ten ancient administrative hundreds of Cornwall - see Stratton Hundred. A battle of the English civil war took place here on 16 May 1643.
The earliest known references to Stratton are found in King Alfred’s Will of c. 880 and the Domesday survey of 1086. The earliest form of the name of Stratton is Strætneat, an Anglo-Saxon form derived from Old Cornish strad and neth, meaning the flat-bottomed valley of the river Neth (now known as the River Strat).
One of the most prominent buildings in Stratton is the 12th century Norman church dedicated to Saint Andrew which holds a central and elevated position within the town. It is listed Grade I. The church contains a brass to Sir John Arundell of Trerice, 1561.
Trade and industry
Trade and industry greatly affected Stratton’s popularity; it had a thriving leather and agricultural trade. During medieval times it dealt in leather, evidence of this is the road named after the trade; Poundfield area was where the animals were kept, Stratton also housed tanning pits and a rack park, where the leather was stretched. There is also evidence of farming in the milking parlours, barns and stalls that are made from cob, a traditional building material, and the Old Malt House shows where ale was produced in the church-owned brewery. During medieval times herbs and spices were also considered important, for medicinal purposes as well as others, and Stratton was famous for having an abundance of wild garlic.
Trade events such as markets and fairs were a regular occurrence in Stratton and people would come from all around to attend. Lots of the evidence for events and trades in Stratton is subtle, for example street names like Market Street and Poundfield Lane. Stratton had up to 14 pubs, although some were houses where people brewed beer themselves. Although many of the shops that once lined the streets have now been converted into homes, the large front windows still hint at the lives led by the inhabitants when Stratton was the most important town in the area.
Stratton and Bude
In the 19th century the growth of the neighbouring seaside town of Bude (previously a chapelry in the parish of Stratton) began to make itself felt on the local prominence and affluence of Statton. Various institutions such as the jail, the police station and the courthouse, the workhouse, and the hospital, which had all been in Stratton, either closed their doors for good or were moved to Bude. In 1900 the two towns were made into an urban district named Bude-Stratton. In 1934 more territory from the neighbouring civil parish of Poughill and from the remaining rural part of Stratton was absorbed into Bude-Stratton.
Other settlements in the rural part of Stratton parish include Bush, Flexbury, Lynstone, Maer, Thorne and Upton.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Stratton, Cornwall.
One of the many maps available on A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Cornwall at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets.
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