A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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Strattone (x cent.); Eastratton (xii cent.).
The parish of East Stratton, containing nearly 1,997 acres of land, lies immediately east of Micheldever, on ground which rises generally from a height of 296 ft. above the ordnance datum in the south to nearly 400 ft. in the north.
The main road from Winchester to London, following for the most part the course of the old Roman road, enters the parish north of Micheldever Wood, and about half a mile on, near one of the main entrances to Stratton Park, the seat of Lord Northbrook, sends off a branch road east towards the village. Thence it continues north and uphill towards Popham, running for a distance of nearly two miles along the western border of the well-wooded grounds of Stratton Park, and forming the western boundary of the parish. Stratton Park is indeed the chief feature of the parish, with its long stretch of woodland thickening towards the north, where Embley and Biddles Wood lead on to Rownest and College Woods, outside the northern boundary of East Stratton.
The narrow road that branches east to the village runs for about half a mile over level ground between the low wooden fence which bounds the southern stretch of the Stratton Park estate, and over which glimpses can be caught of the house and grounds, and the low hedges which encircle the arable lands lying away to the south. Then as it reaches the modern church which stands north opposite East Stratton farm it suddenly faces some picturesque thatched cottages and branches north and south, the branch to the south leading past groups of thatched cottages and the Plough Inn, which lies to the right towards Northington. That to the north sweeps sharply down past groups of thatched cottages which stand behind low brick walls and bright cottage gardens, to a low iron fence and gate which leads across the park to Stratton House. The descent is so steep that a brick gutter to carry off the surplus rainwater has been devised down the east side of the street, and this being edged by short grass, and being crossed before each house by a narrow stone plank, forms one of the most distinctive characteristics. The parsonage house is on the west side of the road, but since the living is a chapelry annexed to Micheldever vicarage, the vicar resides at Micheldever. The village school, built in 1850, stands at the bottom of the village just inside the park, east of the high stone cross which marks the site of the original church.
Stratton House is a comparatively modern building, with a central block having a tall Doric portico and wings at either end. The portico is of stone, but the rest of the house is mainly of plastered brickwork, and dates from the time of Sir Francis Baring, who bought the estate in 1801. Part of one wing is, however, of greater age, and is said to date from the latter part of the seventeenth century, and to have been inhabited by the ill-fated William Lord Russell, but no details of his time remain.
The great interest of the house lies in its pictures, although some of the best are in Lord Northbrook's London house. Two large paintings by Vandyck of Queen Henrietta Maria with the dwarf Sir Jeffrey Hudson, and of the earl of Newbury are among the best, but there are some good landscapes by Claude and Crome, and a long set of portraits, including Warren Hastings, Nelson, and Gibbon, as well as the well-known painting of the brothers Baring. In the dining-room, where are the two Vandyck pictures, is a painting by Reynolds of a sleeping girl, and a vast and ambitious view of the Fire of London by Loutherbourg, dated 1797; and a large collection of water-colours by Edward Lear, author of the Book of Nonsense, is preserved in the house. The stable court and offices lie at the back of the old wing, and the flower garden comes up to the house on two sides, the land rising fairly quickly behind. The soil being shallow, trees do not reach perfection, but there are many fine oaks, beeches, yews, &c., an avenue of trees showing the line of the old high road, which was diverted westward when Sir Francis Baring was improving his newly-purchased property.
The soil of the whole parish is clay and chalk, with a subsoil of chalk with Woolwich and Reading beds immediately south of the village. Thus the chief crops on the 622 acres of arable land are wheat, barley, oats, and turnips. With the exception of Dodsley Wood in the south of the parish, the 352 acres of woodland are comprised in Stratton Park and the woods adjoining. There are 344 acres of permanent grass in the parish. There is no inclosure award.
EAST STRATTON was granted with West Stratton to the New Minster c. 900, the two being then assessed at 9 hides. (fn. 1) It formed part of the portion of the prior and convent, and as such was not taken into the king's hands on the voidances of the abbey. (fn. 2) The lands were apparently held of the abbey in small parcels; for instance, in the thirteenth century one free tenant held 3 virgates there, another ½ a virgate, and a third 1½ virgates. (fn. 3) The grange or manor-house was leased with the demesne lands from time to time, the lessees in 1539 being Robert Clerke and Walter and William his sons, who rented it at £8 13s. 4d. At the same time the perquisites of the court only amounted to 9d. (fn. 4) After the surrender of Hyde Abbey the manor was seized by the crown and sold in 1544 to Edmund Clerke, one of the clerks of the Privy Seal, and his wife Margaret, (fn. 5) from whom it was purchased in 1546 by Sir Thomas Wriothesley, earl of Southampton. (fn. 6) Its descent has since been coincident with that of Micheldever manor. The last earl of Southampton made Stratton Park one of his chief seats, and his son-in-law, Lord Russell, pulled down part of the hamlet and added it to his deer park. (fn. 7)
BURCOT'S FARM, which lies on the road from East Stratton to Northington, is evidently identical with 'Burcote,' which Edward the Elder granted to the New Minster c. 900. At that time there were 4½ hides attached to the holding. (fn. 8) Perhaps, therefore, it was at Burcot that Waleran the Huntsman held his 4½ hides of the abbey's demesne lands in 1086. (fn. 9) In 1199 Adam of Burcot held 1 hide in Burcot, the service from which was in dispute between Roger de Seures and Walter de Audeli and the abbot of Hyde. (fn. 10) Adam's nephews and heirs John of Burcot and Adam of Repling held respectively 2½ virgates and 1½ virgates of land in Burcot. In 1249 Hamo de Basing assured them in their tenure of these lands, for which they owed him certain rent. (fn. 11) Nicholas of Burcot in 1277 granted to the abbey of Hyde an annual rent of 1½d. from the master and brothers of St. John, Winchester, to hold for a yearly rent of a rose to John (sic) of Burcot, (fn. 12) and finally released all his claims to the abbot. (fn. 13) Before 1373 Burcot had passed to John Hampton in marriage with a certain Thomasine. At that date he brought a suit against Sir William Cobham and his wife Alice and others for disseisin of two-thirds of a messuage and certain lands in Northington, Swarraton, and Totford. It was decided that the tenement in question was Burcot, 'quedam mansio infra villam de Northampton,' and that John Hampton and his wife had been unjustly dispossessed of it, in consequence of which they recovered seisin against Sir William Cobham. (fn. 14) The later descent of the farm is unknown.
The church of ALL SAINTS was begun in 1873 to take the place of the old church in the park, now removed, by the earl of Northbrook and the Hon. Francis Baring. It is in fifteenth-century style, from designs by T.G. Jackson, in chalk faced with flint with Chilmark stone dressings, and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle with arcade of four bays, vestry, organ chamber, south porch, and tower on the north, finished with a spire.
There is a modern ring of bells.
The plate consists of a communion cup and paten, silver-gilt, of 1709, and a silver paten, flagon, and almsdish.
The registers are incorporated with those of Micheldever from 1540 down to 1813, but the following registers of earlier date are kept here: a book of baptisms, marriages, and burials 1719–1809, a burial book 1719–28, and a marriage book for 1760–1812. Till 1888 all burials took place in Micheldever churchyard.
The church of All Saints is a chapel attached to Micheldever and in the same gift. There was a separate chapel here at the time of the appropriation of Micheldever church to Hyde Abbey. (fn. 15)
An iron building is used as a Primitive Methodist chapel.