Long Marston, Warwickshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Long Marston
Long Marston is located in Warwickshire
Long Marston
Long Marston
 Long Marston shown within Warwickshire
Population 385 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SP1548
Civil parish Marston Sicca
District Stratford-upon-Avon
Shire county Warwickshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CV37
Dialling code 01789
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
Website Marston Sicca Parish Council
List of places

Coordinates: 52°08′10″N 1°46′37″W / 52.136°N 1.777°W / 52.136; -1.777

Long Marston is a village about 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. The southern and western boundaries of the parish form part of the county boundary with Worcestershire.


Long Marston was part of Gloucestershire until 1931, when the Provisional Order Confirmation (Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire) Act transferred it to Warwickshire.[2]

It is known as one of the Shakespeare villages. William Shakespeare is said to have joined a party of Stratford folk which set itself to outdrink a drinking club at Bidford-on-Avon, and as a result of his labours in that regard to have fallen asleep under the crab tree of which a descendant is still called Shakespeare's tree. When morning dawned his friends wished to renew the encounter but he wisely said "No I have drunk with Piping Pebworth, Dancing Marston, Haunted Hillboro’, Hungry Grafton, Dodging Exhall, Papist Wixford, Beggarly Broom and Drunken Bidford' and so, presumably, I will drink no more." The story is said to date from the 17th century but of its truth or of any connection of the story or the verse to Shakespeare there is no evidence.[3]

On 10 September 1651, Charles II stayed in Long Marston at the house of a kinsman of Jane Lane called Tomes, on his way from Bentley Hall to Abbots Leigh during his escape following the defeat of the army at the Battle of Worcester. He was traveling incognito as a servant to Jane Lane, sister-in-law of George Norton, the owner of the house at Abbott's Leigh to which they were bound.[4] In keeping with his outward guise as a servant, the cook of the house put him to work in the kitchen winding up the jack used to roast meat in the fireplace. Charles was very clumsy at this, but explained his clumsiness by saying that as the son of poor people, he so rarely ate meat that he did not know how to use a roasting jack. Given the state of the economy at the time, his story was accepted and he was not identified.[3][5]

Notable buildings[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint James the Great[6] has a Decorated Gothic nave and chancel, but was rebuilt in the 19th century.[7] The pulpit is Jacobean.[7]


Long Marston Airfield is north-east of the village. It was built in 1940 as RAF Long Marston and decommissioned as a military airfield in 1958.[8] The Bulldog Bash is considered to be one of Europe's most popular, annual, motorcycle festivals and the airfield has been host to this event since 1987. Since 2001 the airfield has hosted "Global Gathering", a summer club music festival.

MoD depot[edit]

The Ministry of Defence's former Long Marston depot is south-east of the village.

Since rail privatisation in the mid-1990s, the former MoD depot has been used as a storage area by the rolling stock operating companies (ROSCOs) for out-of-lease railway rolling stock. The site is secure and secluded to minimise the risk of vandalism.

The Stratford on Avon and Broadway Railway Society was based at the former MoD depot but is now (November 2011) moving its stock to other locations.

The depot's owners, St. Modwen Properties, along with The Bird Group of Companies Ltd, propose to redevelop the site as Middle Quinton Eco-town.

Long Marston Military Railway[edit]

Long Marston Military Railway (LMMR) is a new (2014) project which will be operated at the MoD depot by volunteers. The aim is to keep alive military railway skills, such as re-railing of trains, as well as locomotive driving and track laying. The army's last railway unit, the Royal Logistic Corps 275 Railway Squadron, was disbanded in March 2014 as a result of government defence cuts. The 79 Railway Squadron had been disbanded in 2012.

A "Military Railfest" is planned for 6–10 May 2015 and is expected to include about 20 ex-army locomotives. Barclay 0-4-0DM "Mulberry"[9] was already at Long Marston and was joined by USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 no. 3278 on 22 April 2014. The project is using the shed vacated by the Stratford on Avon and Broadway Railway.[10]

Stock list for Military Railfest 2015
Description War Department
Owner or keeper
Taff Vale Railway O1 class 0-6-2T no. 28 205 Gwili Railway
GWR 4300 Class 2-6-0 no. 5322 5322 Didcot Railway Centre
TCDD 45151 Class 2-8-0 no. 45160 348 Churchill Locomotive Co.
Austerity 0-6-0ST no. 2183 71529 Andrew Goodman
DRG Class 64 2-6-2T no. 64.305  ? Nene Valley Railway
Barclay 0-4-0DM "Mulberry" 70047 Long Marston
British Rail Class 20 no. 20901 none Harry Needle Railroad Company
Wickham railcar  ? Longmoor Military Railway
USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 3278 Richard Stone
USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 6046 Churnet Valley Railway
VR Class Tr1 2-8-2 no. 1060  ? Epping Ongar Railway
LMS 0-6-0DE no. 7069 18 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway


Long Marston has a public house, the Mason's Arms, and a local community village shop called the "Poppin".

Railway Infrastructure[edit]

Long Marston railway station closed in 1966. It was on the Honeybourne Line between Honeybourne railway station (on the Cotswold Line) and Stratford upon Avon railway station. The track is closed and removed northwards from the former station towards Stratford, though there are proposals to reopen it. The line remains in use to the immediate south, as a branch into the former MoD depot is adjacent to the station site.


  1. ^ "Area selected: Stratford-upon-Avon (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Salzman, Louis F., ed. (1949). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Warwick, Volume 5: Kington Hundred. pp. 1–2. [1] Date accessed: 8 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b Highways and Byways in Shakspeares Country, Hutton 1914
  4. ^ Pepys Transcription of the Kings Account of his Escape, Charles II's Escape from Worcester, Edited by William Matthews 1966
  5. ^ Lady Antonia Fraser, Royal Charles, p. 122
  6. ^ Marston Sicca Parish Council web site
  7. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus; Wedgwood, Alexandra (1966). The Buildings of England: Warwickshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 344. 
  8. ^ Elrington, C.R., ed. (1965). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 6. pp. 207–216. 
  9. ^ "Preserved Railways in England and Wales". Preserved-railways.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  10. ^ Steam Railway magazine no. 429, June/July 2014, pp 6-7

External links[edit]

Media related to Long Marston, Warwickshire at Wikimedia Commons