Stretton-on-Fosse, North Cotswolds
History of Stretton-on-Fosse
This small quiet village has fewer than 200 houses most built of Cotswold stone and locally-made red brick and is situated on the Warwickshire-Gloucestershire border on the fringe of the Cotswolds Hills. Two manors are listed in the Doomsday book of 1086, of these only one remains adjoining the imposing Stretton House on the higher ground (125m) of the village. Whilst the lower ground of the village is heavy clay the upper parts are composed of sand and shingle. During commercial extraction of sand important graves of the Roman-British and Anglo-Saxon periods were uncovered and interesting skeletons and personal belongings were unearthed. These burials were the result of internecine warfare between local tribal factions.
Until recently the village consisted of several farms, with housing for local residents occupied in cultivation of the land and the trade association of the rural economy, such as, shops, post-office, school, inns, blacksmiths, and three religious buildings. However, of these only the church (rebuilt in 1841) and the Plough Inn remain, and are still used for their intended purpose. A new imposing village hall was built in 1990 to replace the post-war wooden hut.
In 1826 a tramway with horse-drawn trucks and carriages was opened for carrying coal and passengers from Stratford to Moreton-in-Marsh, which passed through the village. At a later period a branch line was constructed to Shipston-on-Stour which was used for passengers until 1929 and goods until 1960.
The hamlet of Ditchford Frary is also part of the civil parish; the church, which had become ruinous, was annexed to Stretton in 1641.