Welcome to the beams website, which aims to illuminate some aspects of local history and genealogy of particular interest to me, and, I hope, to you !

To date, the contents are :

A Little History of Cherington and Stourton, Warwickshire. A Little History of Cherington and Stourton is the 1934 book by Margaret Dickins, digitised here. It looks at documentary records relating to the villages from the early thirteenth to the early twentieth century. Apart from its general historical interest, it refers by name to well over 450 different individuals, most of them inhabitants.

These web pages also have photographs from the last 100 years, of the villages and of some of the inhabitants. There are sample extracts from the Millennium Book (2004), while a special tribute to Cherington and Stourton WW1 soldiers includes much biographical detail. War memorials at neighbouring Sutton-under-Brailes are also included.

If you are interested in church bells, check out the section created in connection with the 2005-6 bell refurbishment project, and listen to the Cherington peal.


1821 census

A Little History of Farnborough, Warwickshire
, includes the 1821 census, naming heads of households, and the personal accounts 1758-9 of Thomas Elkington.

An attempt has been made to identify as many of the 1821 householders as possible, from sources such as later, more complete censuses. Thomas Elkington was probably a bailiff to William Holbech of Farnborough Hall; his accounts were kept in the blank pages of his British Merlin almanac (see below).



A Little History of
Snitterfield, Warwickshire, reproduces documents concerning education in the village. One is a letter from the famous builder and civil engineer James Trubshaw to Mark Philips, Snitterfield landowner and benefactor and a Liberal M.P. for Manchester who played a major part in social and educational reform. The letter concerns an 1831 plan to build new school premises at Snitterfield. From 1847 is an application for school funding to Betton's Charity, a trust administered by the Ironmongers' Company of London. There is an abstract of school accounts made in connection with this application.


A Little History of Stockton

A Little History of Stockton, Warwickshire
features a Brief History of Griffin's Blue Lias Lime and Cement Works, including a long list of identified customers from far and near, dating from the 1850s.The Griffin family were farmers in this North Warwickshire village for 150 years from the early nineteenth century, ancestors having settled in Warwickshire at Fenny Compton well before the Restoration and then farmed at Farnborough and Avon Dassett. There is a link to information on Nelson's Cement Works, the largest Stockton works, run by the family which owned most of the land farmed by the Griffins.



A facsimile edition of Rider's Almanac, 1758
. Cardanus Rider's British Merlin was issued from 1656 until at least 1830. It is generally held that his name is a pseudonym, and near-anagram, of physician and astrologer Richard Saunders.

Physicians of the time were astrologer, doctor, pharmacist and nurse, all in one, and this is reflected in the almanac, which identifies astrologically predictable (?) times of crisis and numerous herbal remedies. The pages devoted to each month of the year are accompanied by advice on what, and what not, to eat and drink, and otherwise how to keep in good health. There are horticultural notes with abundant attention paid to herbs, fruit and vegetables. Phases of the moon, conjunctions of the planets, and details of forthcoming eclipses, also find a place.

This little book lists annual fairs in England and Wales of fixed and moveable date. Other sections of interest include "A Geographical Description of the World" and "A Computation of the most remarkable Passages of the Times from the Creation to this present Year 1758" which really take us back two and a half centuries, when according to the eighteenth century "timeline", the World was thought to have been created about six thousand years ago .....

Rider's almanac


Suzanne & Richard Brown's ancestor-search.info is an outstanding non-commercial U.K. site offering guidance on where to find information on English and Welsh ancestry. It provides a vast range of links to sources of information both on and off line. Extremely useful pages for both beginners and experienced researchers.


One way of getting a feel for the history of a place is, literally, to follow in our ancestors' footsteps along the paths that today we know as "rights of way". These Littlebeams rambles will include, in time, walks through and around the villages on the history pages, but also, other areas of cultural and historical interest in and around Warwickshire, especially, the beautiful Cotswold Hills, on the northern tip of which lie Cherington and Stourton.



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