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1883 Directory

Kelly's Directory of Berkshire, Bucks and Oxon, 1883

The following text is the Souldern entry in Kelly's Directory of Berkshire, Bucks and Oxon, 1883 pages 683–684. The full directory is available from the Internet Archive.

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SOULDERN is a parish in the hundred of Ploughley, union and county court district of Bicester, rural deanery of Bicester, archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford, 7 miles north-west from Bicester, 7 miles south-east from Banbury and one mile and a half from Aynho station on the Great Western raihvay. The river Cherwell bounds the parish on the west, but is a mile and a half from the village, which is pleasantly situated on the south side of Aynho Park, on the borders of Northamptonshire. The church of St. Mary is an ancient stone structure of various styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, south aisle, porch and a tower of Early Norman date, having walls of considerable thickness, and containing 4 bells and a sanctus bell: the nave is separated from the south aisle by three pointed arches resting on round columns, the capitals and bases of which are Norman and appear to have been reversed: the windows of the aisle are elaborate specimens of Late Decorated work: the porch is of the same date: the chancel is modern: since the 4th December, 1878, this interesting old church has undergone substantial restoration: the western gallery which entirely concealed a massive Roman arch, and a very marked feature of the original church, has been removed: the pillars and arches of the arcade have been scraped and cleaned: stained windows have been inserted in the chancel and in the west window. Sir William Throckmorton bart. has also restored a brass in the chancel to John Throckmorton, one of his ancestors, 1537; there are two other brasses, one to Thomas Warner, parson, 1508 (or 1514); and a third of a heart with scrolls: in the nave are some old carved benches: a small addition has been made to the churchyard. The register dates from the year 1668. The living is a rectory, gross yearly value £600 with residence and 125 acres of glebe, in the gift of St. John's College, Cambridge, and held since 1835 by the Rev. Lawrence Stephenson D.D. formerly fellow of that college. The rectory house, situated north of the church, is a picturesque Elizabethan building, surrounded by fine lime trees. The Catholic chapel of St. Joseph, built in lieu of one formerly attached to the Manor house, was erected and endowed by the Cox, Dolman and Stapleton families late in the seventeenth century.

There is also a chapel for Wesleyans. The parochial charities produce an annual amount of about £43 for distribution in bread and clothing. There are stone quarries in and adjoining the parish. Wordsworth, the poet, was a constant visitor here during the incumbency of his college friend the late Rev. Robert Jones and here he composed a sonnet on Souldern rectory, entitled “On a Parsonage in Oxfordshire.” Some Saxon remains, consisting of urns, brass straps and bone ornaments, have been dug up in the neighbourhood and are in the possession of Sir H. E. Leigh Dryden bart. William Duke of Suffolk, killed in 1449, held with Alice his wife a portion of the lands. The landowners are R. S. Cox esq. of Broxwood Court, Herefordshire, W. C. Cartwright esq. M.P. of Aynho, John Rowland Crook, J. Hill Gough, barrister-at-law, and John Hill esqs. The soil is fertile, clay and loam near the Cherwell, sand and stone brash on the high ground; the subsoil varies at different points of the parish, and consists of limestone, iron stone, clay, sand and gravel, divided into arable and pasture. The area is 1,451 acres; rateable value, £3,433; the population in 1881 was 515.

Parish Clerk, William Coleman.

POST & MONEY ORDER OFFICE & Savings Bank.—Thomas Boddington, postmaster. Letters arrive through Banbury at 9 a.m.; dispatched at 6 p.m. daily excepting sunday. Aynho is the nearest telegraph office

National School, founded subsequently to 1856, with master's house attached; James Tingey, master: endowed jointly by the Minn & Westcar charities with an income of about £65 per annum, supplemented by a yearly grant from the Educational Department & by the school fees; the attendance averages from 90 to 100 scholars. There is also a large sunday school connected with St. Mary’s church. Both sunday & day schools are under diocesan inspection

CARRIER.—William Plumb, to Banbury, thurs. & sat