It was once said that Stratton was more important than Bude. When I sayimportant, I mean that the place in general needs to have these 7 factors:a social centre, a religion centre, a work centre, a population centre, alocal government, a trade and industry centre and of course; a law andjustice centre. Stratton had all of these, such as: the public houses, thechurches, the shops, the local and regular fairs, the use of the churchhouses, the leather and garlic industry and the clink door. All of thesefactors were found in the history of Stratton. When I say always, I mean Iwrite only on the basis that I can see or find out the evidence, such aswritten evidence and physical evidence.
Stratton is believed by many to have been a place of some note in Romantimes. The name Stratton signifies a thoroughfare town of Roman times; theAnglo – Saxons, gave the name to such towns. Others believe that Strattontook its name from the river Strat that runs through it. In this example,Stratton could be taken could be taken to mean town (“ton”) or settlement,on the river (“Strat”). However, Henderson and Coates found that the truename of the river was Neat. The name Stratton seems to have been first usedin the Domesday Survey 1086, and was probably adopted due to the originalname, Stratneat; “neat” refers to the river and “strat” from “Strata”,meaning a paved route. This means that for Stratton to exist in Romantimes, it was an important settlement. At this point, Bude didn’t exist.
Stratton became quite famous for it’s garlic, it grows wild there, and itwas sold in fairs and markets. It was an important feature of medicine andthe diet. Garlic was such a large industry, that a street was devoted onlyin the manufacturers. It was named “Spicers Lane”. In Pigot’s Directory,1844, it displays 11 grocers, a main source for garlic to be purchased, 2of these grocers were in Bude, then 10 grocers (one of the grocers workedin both Bude and Stratton) worked in Stratton, making it an obviousimportance.
Garlic wasn’t only the trade attraction, Stratton was also well known forits leather. Referring back to Pigot’s Directory, there are traces of 8boot and shoemakers, 6 of which were in Stratton; the other 2 were in Bude.
This shows that more leather was used there, due to a bigger population.
It was once thought that there were 14 pubs in Stratton in the lastcentury, but this is now considered unlikely, due to the thought of peoplebrewing beer in their own houses, then selling it. Using Slater’sDirectory, 1852 – 1853, it shows 11 Taverns and Public Houses. Eight ofwhich were in Stratton, 2 in Bude, and one is in Marhamchurch. This showsthat Stratton had an active social life.
Again, on Slater’s Directory, it lists only 3 surgeons, 2 of which were inStratton. A cottage hospital was built in 1866, one of the first inEngland. A Medical Centre was built in 1978, but many alterations havetaken place since then, it is now a lot bigger. This is now the only factorthat Bude does not have.
Another aspect that shows that Stratton was once a very important place wasthe churches. One of the main churches is St. Andrews church, built in1160. The evidence for this is the Norman stoup, arch stones and the datestone. Church House, built sometime in the 15th Century, was used when alewas occasionally brewed and sold to provide additional funds for the manycalls on the parish.
In St Andrews, the town stocks and the old town clink door are preserved.
The door is a reminder of the rough justice of an earlier date.
Courthouses, which was were used for petty sessions, were converted tohouses in 1985. The Second Court House, built in 1863, was joined by aPolice Station, until 1954.
And finally, education; a primary school was built next to a wash house anda place where toffee apples were sold. That school is now closed, a new onewas soon built; it still remains.