A Little History of Cherington and Stourton, Warwickshire
Home 1934 Little History Sutton-under-Brailes Links The Villages Photo Album Weston & tapestries Contact
Go to the Littlebeams site to see more Little Histories, mainly in Warwickshire.

The Millennium History

House-to-house survey

Diary for 1999

Activities and institutions

Where to obtain the book


The Millennium History, published in 2004, is mostly about the inhabitants who have peopled these three neighbouring South Warwickshire villages over the last hundred years. It is packed with fascinating detail and anecdotes, which makes for a hugely entertaining read.

The first part of the book is based on interviews with some 200 households carried out in 1999. This was a timely Millennium study since there remain at least a dozen families who were here in 1901, a fact unusual in an age when the character of so many such villages is changing so swiftly. The result of this unofficial census is a valuable house-by-house record for posterity.

The second part of the book is a Diary for 1999 to which over forty people have contributed.

Next (sections 20-54) comes a series of some forty short articles on village activities and institutions during the 20th century.

The villages are notable for some thirty houses having date-stones, from 1691 to 1991; these are recorded and some are illustrated.

Appendices record the Roll of Honour for the two World Wars and list Chairmen of Parish Meetings and Councils, Incumbents, Schoolteachers; population statistics 1851 - 2001, and rainfall and temperatures for 1999.

This 192 page history, in metric crown quarto (247 x 187mm), is illustrated in black and white with some 200 pictures, old and new.

Here are some brief extracts from one entry in the house-by-house survey. Most personal names have not been included, since while the interviewees gave permission for them to appear in print, they may not necessarily wish for internet-wide publicity!

House-to-house survey

The Bell House

XX read English at Southampton University. She taught Sixth Forms in England, before becoming Tutor in the Department of English, and a Fellow of Volta Hall for Women, at the University of Ghana. [.......] She has two sons: ---- at Mount Sorrell in Todenham and ---- in London. She is on the committees of Tuesday Circle, Neighbourhood Watch and Senior Citizens.

XX and her husband originally bought this house in 1968, to have as a family base in England while they were working abroad. XX's mother, ----, held the fort, stoically enduring the Stourton Farm cows' aromatic ramble twice daily past the gate, to and from their pasture on the Whichford Road - until her eventual joyous escape to Stratford and clean pavements. Among local memories of Harry Shaw's rule until 1929 at Stourton Farm is that he always had a boy following the cows along the road, clearing and sweeping it.

----, the policeman's son born in this house in 1920, remembers Mr Shaw, with his dog Rover, walking past every day, in winter wearing a trilby hat and in summer a straw one, and carrying a shepherd's crook; the road surface was of round pebbles set in tar and the metal end of the crook would click against them as he went by. ---- remembers that "Mr Shaw was a perfect gentleman. If any of his employees were being delinquent, he would cough-cough-cough to warn them to stop before he caught them." Seventy years ago, it was a different world.

[........] This house was the police station for Stourton and Cherington [.....]

Diary for 1999


5. Took hay to sheep in Slinget (Stourton) and Beanos (Cherington). PT.

6. Warwickshire Hunt met at the pub, hounds having been unboxed at Little Orchard Farm. They hunted round Weston Mill and the Park, Whichford Wood and Ascott Spinneys. Masters and Hunt Staff to tea. HP.

9. Tuesday Circle had Malcolm MacLachlan from Batsford Arboretum; lovely slides and potted history of Batsford Estate. PG.

13. Second evening of the Music Hall: lights dimmed and then in darkness, only lighting being Laurie X's lectern candle and red tip of his jumbo cigar. Main fuse had blown. Orderly, but very dejected, audience filed out. CP.

14. Richard Smith took the Family Service: it being St Valentine's Day, Mary XX had made paper hearts which .....

Activities and institutions

42. Public Houses

Alcohol in its various forms has been available in the three villages since time immemorial. In particular, cider was the main source of alcoholic refreshment and over the years the villages have pressed their own brew for home consumption. Stourton used to have several orchards. The Henniker-Majors at Harewell House, Stourton used to press the apples from their orchard using the press that had originally belonged to the house. It is now in use at [....]

Anecdotal evidence and half-remembered tales indicate alehouses at the beginning of the Whichford Road (Ivy House) in Stourton and another in Cherington by the wicket gate into the field below the Church; it is probable that the Red Lion was also such an alehouse. The present house was four cottages and one of these sold beer. [....]

The Dickins and Shaw families did not approve of alcohol and apparently combined to close down the Red Lion in 1910. The men in the villages walked, on a Saturday, to the Whichford pub and, if they had any money left, would walk to Brailes for a Sunday drink. The Dickins sisters tried to get people to ... [....]

The Cherington Arms […] was undoubtedly an ale house. Originally it was two houses :Garth Cottage at the back and Halleujah Lodge in front. [….] At first there were no bars: alcohol was sold from the shop at the front and either taken home or consumed round the back by the garden (or at the side. People like Alf Hunt, Riley Brewer and Mr Empson (who had a fine voice) would bring their beer to the bench by Steels Lane and sing the Jarretts to sleep [....]

Consumption in 1954 was 4 x 36-gallon barrels a week, more than is currently drunk. That means 1,152 pints plus bottled beers [....]

The night of the Millennium was celebrated at the pub, very much a village affair: and so all seems set for the next thousand years. LM.

Availability of the book


Click photo

to enlarge

Each month through the year 1999 is remembered in entries taken from different diaries kept by villagers. Together, these form a fine collection which took pride of place at the book launch, and are to be donated to the Warwickshire County Records Office. The initials after each entry belong to the writer, who is duly identified in the book.

Here is part of the selection for the second month of the final year of the Millennium.

Village Activities And Institutions

20.The Band

21. Biers and the Bier House

22. Charities

23. Cherington and the Media

24. Cherington in 1938

25. The Cherington Players - and earlier

26. Churches and Chapels

27. Date-stones

28. Education

29. Farming and Allied Trades  

30. Field Sports

31. The Flower Show

32. Gardens and Allotments

33. The Sweep

34. Law and Order

35. Locomotion and Locals in the 1920s

36. Millennium 2000

37. Modern Warfare comes to the Villages

38. Natural History

39. Parish Meetings and Councils

40. Parish Magazines

41. The Playing Field

42. Public Houses (see below)

43 Public Services

44. Royal Jubilees and Coronations

45. The Senior Citizens Club

46. The Sheepwash

47. Shops and Services

48. Sport

49. The Tuesday Circle

50. The Village Hall

51. Village Pounds

52. Water-mills

53. The Women's Institute

54. The Youth Club - and earlier

Here are a few excerpts from the article devoted to Public Houses. It is typical of many of these contributions in the amount of detail it contains - a tribute to the quality of the writers' research!

Cherington, Stourton and Sutton-under-Brailes, 1900 - 1999: The Millennium History

Edited by Richard Russell. Pub. 2004 Robert Boyd Publications, 260 Colwell Drive, Witney, Oxon, OX28 5LW.

Price £9.95. ISBN 1-899536-71-X. It was available locally at

Baldwins Newsagents, Brailes; Shipston-on-Stour Museum; and The Cherington Arms.

The book is now generally unobtainable but may be consulted in local reference libraries.