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Guest blog; The Manor of Stratford

John Bartlett, Lord of Stratford has been continuing his research since acquiring the Lordship Title of Stratford from Manorial Counsel. 

Here we feature his guest post:

The Manor of Stratford

Stratford was a medieval manor of about 256 acres bounded by the River Tame in the west, the Two Gates crossroads in the east and Watling Street in the south. It served the lords of Tamworth Castle, together with other manors that they held, such as Lea Marston. It was first documented in 1253 and underwent several spelling changes, such as Stretford and Stretford juxta Tamworth, until reverting back to Stratford in the early 20th. Century. Unfortunately, although the area was marked on several maps of Warwickshire in the 18th. and 19th. Centuries, the name was lost for many years and was never included on modern mapping. This may have been the result of boundary changes that occurred in Tamworth in 1899, when the town ceased to be divided into Warwickshire and Staffordshire and became entirely within Staffordshire.

As a result of extensive research by the current Lord of the Manor of Stratford, John Bartlett, the Ordnance Survey has agreed to correct this oversight and include the name on its OS Master Map and large scale mapping (1:10,000). Support for the change was kindly given by Wilnecote Ward Councillor, Tina Clements, and various members of Tamworth Borough Council, and the name now provides the Council with an official identity for the area that is currently mainly developed by new housing.

During his research, John discovered a document dated 1420 that stated: “The manors of Lea and Stratford are held of the dean of Tamworth, service unknown, annual value 100s.” “There are in the manor of Stratford 2 carucates[1] each worth 9s. yearly, 8 acres meadow worth 20d. an acre yearly, and 8 acres pasture worth 13d. an acre yearly. Annual value of the manor 40s.”  The title and land were separated many years ago, but John, as title holder, is keen to continue his research and literally put Stratford back on the map. Its importance as a “street ford” across the River Tame for the great Roman road of Watling Street means that it should not be lost to history.

John Bartlett

Lord of the Manor of Stratford

15th. March, 2017

The Manor of Stratford

[1] The carucate or carrucate was a medieval unit of land area approximating the land a plough team of eight oxen could till in a single annual season. A carucate might nominally be regarded as an area of 120 acres (490,000 m²) (0.49 km²).