Stanton Harcourt

Stanton Harcourt

The above postcard shows Stanton Harcourt in about 1900. The sign above the door on the right reads “F. Akers, Baker & Grocer”, and to the right of it is a sign saying “Stanton Harcourt Post Office”.

Kelly’s Directory for 1891 describes Stanton Harcourt thus:

Stanton Harcourt is a parish and village standing amid fine woodland scenery near the river Windrush and separated from Berkshire by the Isis, which is crossed at Bablocke-Hythe, 2 miles east, by a ferry; it is 3 miles south-west from Eynsham railway station, 2 south-east from South Leigh railway station, both on the East Gloucestershire railway, 9 west from Oxford and 4 south-east from Witney, in the Mid division of the county, hundred of Wootton, petty sessional division of Bampton East, union and county court district of Witney, rural deanery of Woodstock, archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford.

The church of St. Michael is a noble cruciform building of local stone in mixed styles, chiefly Early English and Perpendicular, consisting of chancel with south chapel, nave, transepts, north porch and a central embattled tower with a groined roof and containing 6 bells: the chancel is Early English of the 12th century, and lighted by widely-splayed lancets arranged in triplets at the east end and on both sides; it retains a piscina of the same date and on the north side is a small but beautiful Decorated altar-tomb of the 14th century beneath a rich arcaded canopy profusely crocketed, and still retaining traces of colour; at the angles of the canopy are tabernacles with figures, and below the elaborate cornice is a series of mutilated shields of arms; the sides of the base are surrounded by trefoiled arches separated by pinnacles and inclosing plain shields; this tomb is supposed to be that of Isabel, daughter and eventual heiress of Richard de Camville, who in 1192–3 married Sir Robert de Harcourt, of Warwick and Leicester, westward of this, under an obtuse arch in the wall, is the monument of Maud, daughter of John, Lord Grey of Rotherfield and wife of Sir Thomas de Harcourt, 1394; the tomb bears her effigy, habited in heraldic surcoat, mantle and reticulated headdress, and on the front are four shields of arms; the chancel is divided from the nave by an Early English wooden rood screen of 13th-century work and of the same age as the chancel-arch, with the stone-work of which its mouldings exactly correspond, and is especially noticeable as the oldest rood screen as yet known in this country: the width of the screen is 14 feet 7 inches and the height 9 feet 3 inches, both of these doors open and shut smoothly and the hinges, bolt and lock are still perfect: the original door to the tower staircase remains inside; the external door now in use was made in 1789: the north transept retains a piscina, the platforms of two altars, and four heads as brackets, and the doorway has a stoup: the nave is Norman with two original north and south doorways, the former having a stoup and four small Norman windows: on the south side of the chancel is a chapel of rich but late Perpendicular work, belonging to the Harcourts, erected in the time of Henry VII and filled with monuments of the Harcourt family from that period down to the present time [description of monuments omitted].

The Perpendicular font consists of an octagonal basin with quatrefoiled sides, on a tall buttressed shaft, with small and plain arches, above which it is encircled by a trefoiled cresting; it was restored in 1833, the original ornaments being then placed on a tablet under the west widow. There are brasses in the chapel, with effigies, to Thos. Harcourt esq., 1460, and Nicholas Atherton esq., 1454, and below these, small figures of children, George, Alys and Isabel Harcourt. In the chancel is a large brass, with effigy, vested, to Sir Henry Dodschone vicar, ob. 1519; and another to Elen, wife of John Camby, ob. 1516, with two children. A shield of the date 1293 is said to have been lost.

There are about 480 sittings, 300 being free. The register dates from the year 1568. The living is a vicarage, tithe rent-charge £160, net yearly value £300, with residence and 20 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford, and held since 1845 by the Rev. William Percival Walsh M.A. of St. John’s College, Oxford.

At Sutton hamlet there is a chapel belonging to the Catholic Apostolic Church, and the Wesleyans have a preaching room. Charities for distribution in bread and money amount to about £23 yearly.

[Long description on the remains of the Harcourts’ ancient manor house omitted]

About half a mile south-west are three large monumental sandstones known by the name of the “Devil’s Coits”, conjectured by Warton to commemorate an engagement fought near Bampton in the year 614 between the British and Saxons, when the Saxon princes, Cynegila and Cwichelm, slew more than two thousand Britons; the adjacent barrow has been destroyed.

The village stocks are still standing a short distance north of the church.

E.W. Harcourt esq., J.P., D.L. of Nuneham Courtney, who is lord of the manor, which has been held by the Harcourt family for 700 years, the Rev. W.P. Walsh M.A, vicar, Mr. Arthur Arnatt, the Warden and fellows of All Souls College, Oxford, Oxford University, Brasenose College, Oxford, and Robert Walter’s trustees, are the principal landowners.

The soil is gravel; subsoil, rock. The chief crops are what, barley, oats and turnips. The area is 3,554 acres; rateable value, £4,439; the population in 1881 was 541.

Sutton, half-a mile north, and West End, 1 mile south-by-east, are hamlets surrounded by woodland.

Parish clerk: William Batts

Post Office: William Burchell, receiver. Letters arrive from Oxford viâ Eynsham about 8.15am; dispatched at 6.10p.m on weekdays only. Eynsham is the nearest money order & telegraph office. Wall Letter Box, Sutton, cleared at 6.25pm, weekdays only

National (mixed) School, erected at the cost of the Rev. Wm. Harcourt in 1865, for 100 children; average attendance, boys & girls, 65; infants, 16; the school has an endowment of about £14 yearly, derived in part from land in the neighbourhood & other income from a bequest of £400 by Dr. Gibbons; George Hoare Gillier, master; Mrs Sarah Jane Gillier, mistress

Carriers: Alfred Batts & Burden, to Oxford, Wed. & Sat.; to Witney, Thurs.

Stanton Harcourt
Moultrie Mrs., Tarwood house
Porter Capt. Gerald Montgomery, The Lodge
Walsh Rev. Wm. Percival M.A. [vicar]

Akers Charles, Harcourt Arms P.H. & farmer
Arnatt Arthur, farmer & landowner
Batts Mary Ann (Mrs.), carpenter & wheelwright
Blake Arthur, farmer
Buckingham George, blacksmith
Buckingham Jeremiah, general smith
Burchell Wm., grocer & draper, Post office
Cadman Richard, farm bailiff to E.W. Harcourt esq.
Castle Mary (Mrs.), Fox P.H.
Cross John William, shoe maker
Eagle Richard, farmer, Manor house
Eagle Thomas Blakeman, farmer
Hinton James, shopkeeper & baker
Johnson John, farmer, Cutmill farm
Pimm George & Arnatt Thomas, wheelwrights
Walker Ann (Mrs.), farmer
Wright & Hopkins, farmers, Pinkill farm

Akers John, baker & shopkeeper
Batts Alfred, carrier & beer retailer
Batts Thomas, Shopkeeper
Belcher James, shopkeeper
Blake Alfred, farmer, University farm
Boswell James, Shoe Maker
Burden Frederick, carrier
Burden Thomas, shoe maker
Castle George, farmer, Sutton farm
Clack Eliza (Mrs.), farmer
Clifton Henry William, woodman

West End
Walter Robert
Breakspear, John & James & Joseph, farmers
Walter John, farmer

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