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1895 Directory

Kelly's Directory of Oxfordshire, 1895

The following text is the Souldern entry in Kelly's Directory of Oxfordshire, 1895, pages 272–273.

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SOULDERN is a parish and village, 1½ miles east by footpath, or 2½ miles by road from Aynho station on the Oxford and Birmingham line of the Great Western railway, 8 south-east from Banbury and 7½ north-west from Bicester, in the Mid division of the county, hundred and petty sessional division of Ploughley, union and county court district of Bicester, rural deanery of Bicester, arch-deaconry and diocese of Oxford. 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 building of stone in various styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, south aisle, south porch and a massive embattled tower of Early Norman date, containing 4 bells and a sanctus bell: the nave is separated from the south aisle by three pointed arches 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: the east and west windows and others in the church are filled with stained glass: in the chancel is a brass to John Throckmorton, ob. 1537, which has been restored by Sir William Throckmorton bart.; and there are two other brasses, one to Thomas Warner, parson, ob. 1508 (or 1514); and another representing a heart with scrolls: the nave retains some old carved benches: the church was restored in 1878–9 the work being begun on 4 Dec. in the former year, and in the course of it the western gallery was taken down: there are now 200 sittings. The churchyard has been enlarged. The register dates from the year 1668. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £431, average £320, net yearly value £471, with residence and 130 acres of glebe, in the gift of St. John's College, Cambridge, and held since 1890 by the Rev. John Wilberforce Doran M.A. formerly scholar of that college. A new rectory house was built in 1890–1. The Catholic chapel, dedicated to St. Joseph, built in lieu of one formerly attached to the Manor house, was erected and endowed by the Cox, Dolman and Stapleton families in the beginning of the present century. There is also a Wesleyan chapel. The parochial charities produce about £43 yearly for distribution in bread and clothing.

In and adjoining the parish are stone quarries. Wordsworth the poet was a constant visitor here during the incumbency of his college friend the late Rev. Robert Jones, rector of Souldern 1806, and here he composed a sonnet on Souldern rectory, entitled “On a Parsonage in Oxfordshire.” Ploughley Hill is a curious Saxon barrow, turned like a bell, small and high, almost entirely levelled at the commencement of the century for highway purposes. 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. of Canons Ashby, Northants. William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk K.G. executed in 1449 in Dover roads, on board. the “Nicholas of the Tower,” held with Alice (Chancer), his wife, a portion of the lands. Souldern Manor House. is the residence of Lieut.-Col. Albert Edward England J.P. The landowners are Lieut.-Col. Richard Snead Cox, of Broxwood Court, Herefordshire, W. C. Cartwright esq, of Aynho, Mrs. Crook, J. Hill Gough esq. barrister-at-­law, John Hill esq. Major Edgworth Horrocks, of Paddock Wood, Kent, and Major Preston. 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, £3,479; the population in 1891 was 453.

Parish Clerk, Henry Coleman.

Post, M. O. O., S. B. & Annuity & Insurance Office.— Thos. Fredk. Thornett Cole, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive through Banbury at 8.45 a.m. & 1.50 p.m. ; dispatched at 11.30 a.m. & 6.20 p.m. daily except sunday. Fritwell is the nearest telegraph office


National, founded subsequently to 1856, with master's house attached; endowed jointly by the Minn & Westcar charities with an income of about £65 yearly; the school will hold 120 children; average attendance, 72; James Tingey, master

Catholic, built in 1879, for 60 children; average attendance, 18; Miss Bocissto, mistress

Carriers Joseph Bates, to Banbury, mon. thurs. & sat.; Richard Lett, mon. thurs. & sat