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1907 Directory

Kelly's Directory of Oxfordshire, 1907


The following text is the Souldern entry in Kelly's Directory of Oxfordshire, 1907, pages 325–326.

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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, arch­deaconry and diocese of Oxford. The new line of the Great Western railway from Aynho through Bicester to Horesendon will pass through this parish. 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, north transept, south aisle, south porch and a massive embattled tower of Early Norman date, now (1907) being rebuilt under the directions of G. F. Bodley esq. R.A. and containing 6 bells and a sanctus bell : the nave is separated from the south aisle by three pointed arches on round columns, all Transitional, the capitals and bases of which 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 was rebuilt in 1896, on the site of a former chancel of the 14th century, from designs by Messrs. Bucknall and Comper, architects, and a stained east window was placed at the same time: 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 very ancient font is presumably Saxon: 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, net yearly value £340, with, residence and 130 acres of glebe, in the gift of St. John's College, Cambridge, and held since 1901 by the Rev. Eric John Sutherland Rudd M.A. formerly fellow of that college, and prebendary of Hereford Cathedral. A new rectory house was built in 1890–1. The Catholic church, dedicated to St. Joseph, and 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, erected in 1869. The parochial charities produce about £30 yearly for distribution in bread and clothing; there are also cottages and gardens and allotment gardens on the old green, which are let to the poor at a nominal rent.

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, a curious bell-shaped Saxon barrow, was almost entirely levelled at the commencement of the 19th 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 A. E. 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 R.A., J.P. The landowners are Lt.-Col. England, Magdalen College, Oxford, William Cornwallis Cartwright esq. of Aynho, G. Wood esq. Major Edgworth Horrocks, of Paddock Wood, Kent, Capt. Charles William Prescott-Westcarr, of Strode Park, Herne, Kent, Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Gough. 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 1,485 acres of land and 11 of water; rateable value, £4,620; the population in 1901 was 406.

Parish Clerk, Alexander Simpson.

Post, M. O. O., S. B. & A. & I. Office.—Thomas William Matthews, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive through Banbury at 8-4S & 11.45 a.m.; dispatched at 12.15 & 6.30 p.m. daily except sunday. Aynho, about 1¼ miles distant, is the nearest telegraph office

Schools

Elementary, founded subsequently to 1856, with master's house attached; endowed jointly by the Minn & Westcar charities with an income of about £6o yearly; the school will hold 120 children; average attendance, 75; James Tingey, master

Catholic, built in 1879, for 60 children; average attendance, 10; Miss Mary Boucher, mistress

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