Stretton on Dunsmore History Society

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A brief history of Stretton on Dunsmore

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There has been a settlement at Stretton on Dunsmore for over one thousand years, however there is no evidence of when the first settlers actually arrived.

Stretton on Dunsmore is located on Dunsmore Heath, adjacent to the Fosse Way, a Roman Road, and equidistant from Coventry, Rugby and Leamington Spa. The name of the village is probably anglo saxon "straet tun on dun mor", literally meaning "village on the road on the hill on the heath".

By the 15th century Stretton had grown from the original hamlet into an established Village with its own Church and Manor House.

It is quite certain that there has been a church in the Village for 800 years. The current church, All Saints, being consecrated in 1837. The previous church being demolished after having fallen into a state of disrepair.

 

Joseph Elkington, the famous agricultural drainage pioneer, was baptised in Stretton on Dunsmore in 1740 and died in 1806. Joseph was inspired by his discovery to devise a new method of draining wet land based on deep drilling. He applied his method to farms in Warwickshire and further afield, demonstrating an uncanny ability to solve difficult drainage problems. In 1795 Parliament awarded him a gold ring and £1000 (a fortune at that time). In June 2006 the History Society organised a bi-centenary celebration.

The Village has connections with the Royal Family. On August 9th 1893 Alice Wilshire married Patrick Bowes-Lyons in the Village Church. She was to become Aunt Alice to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, who became the Queen Mother.

The Village was and still is a thriving community. The 1841 census shows that in addition to the many farmers there were numerous craftsmen including three wheelwrights, three blacksmiths, several carpenters, two bricklayers, a plumber, a cooper, three shoemakers, four tailors, two dressmakers, a cattle dealer, one excise officer and a surgeon.

At one time Stretton was served by many Public Houses, The Oak, The Black Dog, The Shoulder of Mutton, The Dun Cow, The Red Lion, The Frog Inn, The White Lion, The George, The Wheatsheaf and The Cold Comfort Inn. No doubt these served the thriving trade moving along the the Fosse Way and also the London Road (A45). Today only two pubs remain; The Oak & Black Dog and the Shoulder of Mutton.

Today the Village is well served by a General Store, Post Office, Doctor's Surgery, Primary School, two pubs, hairdressers, Village Hall, local tradesmen, numerous social organisations which cater for all ages and local bus services to adjacent towns and cities.

More detail about the history of the Village can be found in the book:

"Stretton on Dunsmore - The Making of a Warwickshire Village"

 

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