St Mary Magdalene
Great Alne shown within Warwickshire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||110 miles(177km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Great Alne is a small village in England, known as Round Alne in the Middle Ages. It is situated 7 miles (11 km) north-west of Stratford-upon-Avon, 3 miles (4.8 km) north-east of Alcester, and 15 miles (24 km) from Warwick in the County of Warwickshire, on the road to Wootton Wawen via Little Alne. The name Great Alne takes its name from the River Alne. First chronicled in the charter of King Ethelbald (723–737) "near to the river which our ancestors used to call, and which is called to this day, 'Alwine'." The Celtic word Alwine meaning bright or clear. On 26 November 1969 Warwickshire County Council formally designated an area within Great Alne as a Conservation Area, including most of the village east of the Memorial Hall and has within its curtlage twelve listed buildings of local architectural and historical value.  In the 2001 census, the population of the parish was 587.
Land at Alne was given by Coenwulf, King of the Mercians, about 809, to his newly founded abbey of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. The Domesday Book records " in Ferncombe Hundred, Winchcombe Abbey holds 6 hides in (Great) Alne. Land for 6 ploughs. In lordship 1 plough; 3 slaves. 11 villagers with 4 smallholders have 5 ploughs. A mill at 5s; woodland 1/2 leaugue long with 4 furlongs wide. The value was £3; now £4." It remained in the hands of the monastery until the dissollution when it passed to the crown who leased it to the Throckmortons of Coughton until 1 December 1599 when Queen Elizabeth I sold it to Edward Stone of the city of Westminster and Thomas Gainsford of the city of London, Gainsford later made over his part to Stone. It has since passed through a number private hands being owned by different local families including the Throckmortons and Holyoakes.
Alne Mill, converted into luxury apartments in 1989, lies about .25 miles (0.40 km) to the south of the village and the road leading down to it is probably the Milnewey or Millway mentioned in 1541 and 1728. The mill at Alne was worth 5s. in Domesday had increased in value to 6s. 8d. in the Taxation of 1291. In 1516 it was let by the abbot to John and Elizabeth Palmer at an annual rent of £1 10s.
Great Alne is in the Kinwarton ward of Stratford on Avon District Council and represented by County and District Councillor Mike Gittus of the Conservative Party. Nationally it is part of Stratford on Avon constituency, whose current Member of Parliament following the 2010 election is Nadhim Zahawi of the Conservative Party. It is included in the West Midlands electoral region of the European Parliament, following the 2014 elections the seven members are; Philip Bradbourn OBE, (who died in December 2014) and Anthea McIntyre (Conservative), Neena Gill and Sion Simon (Labour) and Jim Carver, Bill Etheridge and Jill Seymour (UK Independence).
The parish church of St Mary Magdalene consists of a chancel with a modern north vestry, nave, north aisle, and west porch-turret. Whilst 13th century in origin with some later additions, much restoration was completed in 1837 when the nave was enlarged and a west gallery added, providing 86 additional seats, according to a record in the church. The west wall, with an entrance and two windows, is modern, as is also the west porch, which is carried up as a square bell-turret changing to an octagon at the top and having an octagonal pyramidal roof. There is one bell of 1670 by John Martin of Worcester. The modern north aisle has two north windows, and one at the east and at the west. The font, of flower-pot shape, may be an old one re-tooled: it has a shallow bowl. The top has been repaired on opposite sides, probably where former staples existed. The stainded glass in the East window dates from 1860 and is by Hardman & Co. who were also responsible for the stained glass in the Houses of Parliament.
Thomas Clarke the rector at the time of the puritan "Survei of the Ministrie in Warwickshier" of 1586 was described; "parson no precher nor learned, yet honest of life & zealous in religion he hath 3 or 4 charges & cures beside that of Kynerton, Witeley? (Weethley) he supplieth by his deputies : his hirelinges that serue by his non-residentship are all dumbe & idle & some of them gamsters : vah of all Ixxx" a yeare."
A wooden war memorial to the memory of those men of the parish who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars, which interestingly contains the name of a woman, Sister E.M. Elvins.
There is one pub restaurant The Huff Cap, formerly the Mother Huff Cap Inn, the name deriving from the days when most pubs brewed their own beer, Huff Cap being a 16th century term for a strong ale which would "huf ones cap" or make the head swell, not for the froth on the top of the beer as is sometimes stated. The 'mother' is likely to be the dame who brewed the beer and managed the public house. In 1746 the pub is thought to have been 'The Huff Cap' and to have acquired 'mother' later. This hostelry was once on the main coach road from Stratford to Bridgnorth.
Great Alne Primary School is located on the edge of the village, about a mile from the outskirts of Alcester.
|School||Compulsory education stage||School website||Ofsted details|
|Great Alne Primary School||Primary||Great Alne Primary School||Ofsted details for unique reference number 125511|
The old railway station, built on the Great Western Railway branch-line from Bearley to Alcester opened in 1876 but is now converted to a residential dwelling. The station sat on the GWR's Alcester Branch linking their Hatton - Stratford Branch with the now defunct Midland Railway's Gloucester Loop line South of Redditch. The line closed to passengers in 1917 only to reopen between 1922/3 but stopping again in 1939 for passenger use, apart from workers' trains to the nearby Castle Maudslay Motor Company's works from Birmingham. The line closed completely in 1951 with lifting of the track taking place shortly afterwards.
- A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3: Barlichway hundred (1945), pp. 86-88. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56975
- Domesday Book for Warwickshire, Phillimore edited by John Morris ISBN 0-85033-141-2
- Antiquities of Warwickshire, William Dugdale, 1656
- Stratford District Council website
- Nikolaus Pevsner and Alexandra Wedgwood, The Buildings of England, Warwickshire, 1966, ISBN 0-14-071031-0
- Survei of the Ministrie in Warwickshier 1586
- Dictionary of Pub Names, Leslie Dunkling & Gordon Wright 1987 ISBN 1-85326-334-6
- Richard Churchley, Local Past, Autumn 1981
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