St.Mary and St Edburga, Stratton Audley, Oxfordshire
Stratton Audley is a classic English village but I'm not sure which building impressed us most - the church of St.Mary and St.Edburga or the nearby Red Lion pub complete with huge warm bar, real log fire and a very friendly dog.
Stratton Audley church was a dependent church of Bicester's own St.Edburga church until the Reformation but the building dates from the Saxon period and may contain Saxon material in the south aisle and the tower. A grant of tithes prior to 1109 confirms the presence of a Norman church and the present building does have one Norman doorway. The rest of the church dates from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.
www.flickr.com/photos/barryslemmings/sets/72157594513923052/ to see the full set.
Internally a particular feature are the two Borlase monuments - the larger one to actor John Borlase featuring no fewer that four delicately carved skulls. The stained glass is largely absent [see also Bicester church] but at Stratton Audley there is a local tradition that the missing glass is still buried somewhere in the village but has been lost.
Elsewhere the village has traces of a probably Romano-British enclosure, the moated remains of a castle belonging to the Audley family and a possible site for the medieval village south of the church itself.
There was a skirmish here during the English Civil War. A Parliamentarian Captain Abercromby was defeated and fatally wounded here in 1645 and a small circular earthwork called Stuttle's Bank, just north east of the village, may date from this period.
The village was a centre for lace-making in the 19th century as well as hunting. The village is still the centre of the Bicester and Warden Hill hunt and the hunt kennels are nearby. The hounds must have been feeding while we were there as we suddenly heard them making a fuss about half a mile away.