St James the Great, Snitterfield
Snitterfield shown within Warwickshire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||101 miles SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Snitterfield is a village and civil parish in the Stratford on Avon district of Warwickshire, England, less than a mile to the north of the A46 road, 4½ miles from Stratford upon Avon, 6½ miles from Warwick and 17 miles (27 km) from Coventry.
The early name of Snitterfield was "Snytenfeld", open field of snipe, "Feld", signifying a cleared stretch of land amid the Forest of Arden and "Snyten" referring to the snipe frequenting the meadows near the Sherborne Brook which runs through the village. The earliest record of Snitterfield is on a map dated 1630 by John Speed and as late as 1814, Snitterfield was spelt as Snitfield. At the time of the Norman conquest of England Snitefeld was held by Saxi who also possessed land at Walton, Charlecote, Bramcote, Dorsington and Werlavescote but by 1086 it was held by the Count of Meulan; "in Ferncombe Hundred, Snitefeld. Saxi held it he was a free man. 4 hides. Land for 14 ploughs. In lordship 2; 10 slaves.11 villagers with a priest and 4 smallholders have 6 ploughs. Meadow 12 acres. Value before 1066 and later £4; now 100s."
Welcombe Hills vineyard was established in 2001 situated at Vine Cottage, Kings Lane, Snitterfield, producing English wines from Pinot Noir, Dornfelder and Bacchus grape varieties. In August 2009, all five Welcombe Hills wines entered in the Mercian Vineyards Association regional competition won medals.
Shakespearean connections are reflected in the home of some of Snitterfield's major employers, at Prospero Barn, The Green Snitterfield; Prospero was a character in The Tempest. Prospero Barn houses Structured Training Ltd, SalesPathways Ltd and Predaptive OD Ltd.
Other employers include the Stratford Manor Hotel, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, and the local Wyvale Garden Centre. Snitterfield is also home to one of the UK's oldest-established independent factoring (finance) brokerages, Factoring Partners.
Snitterfield is a ward of Stratford on Avon District Council and represented by Councillor Helen Haytor, Conservative. 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. James the Great consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and a west tower. There are also modern vestries north of the chancel and south of the tower. The sequence of the earlier development of the building is a little uncertain owing to the proximity of the various periods, added to the marked differences in detail, and some confusion caused by later alterations. The south arcade probably dates from the latter half of the 13th century and the north from the early 14th century, but the similarity of the windows in both aisles suggests that after the north aisle was built the south aisle was widened to 9 ft (2.7 m). to match the other. The chancel, built of rubble, is of severer detail and may have followed soon after the 14th-century north aisle; it is of great length compared with the nave and has large windows. The west tower was evidently erected in several successive stages: the lowest 10 ft (3.0 m). in the early 14th century, continued up another 8 or 9 ft (2.7 m). about 1340 with ashlar walling, the west window having moulded jambs rather like those of the south doorway, and completed c. 1400 in ashlar of larger stones. The clerestory was added early in the 16th century: there seems to have been some trouble from weakness in the arcades, especially the northern, which shows inequalities in the arches resulting probably from partial reconstructions, and most of its capitals have been rather crudely remoulded. No important changes occurred before the 19th century, but there was some deterioration, as a description of 1858 mentions that the chancel was heavily buttressed on the north side and its windows had lost their tracery. The closing of the side doorways and insertion of the west doorway were done before that time. Scars and repairs in the arcades are evidence of the damage caused to the masonry by the erection of galleries in 1841. Probably the vestry south of the tower was then added. Since then the church has been well restored, the chancel windows provided with tracery, and the north vestry and organ chamber added.
The Monarch's Way, a long distance footpath which approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester, passes through Snitterfield. King's Lane owes its name to the tradition which says that Charles II rode through here with Jane Lane during his escape in September 1651.
Snitterfield has Snitterfield Primary School, School Road, Snitterfield, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0JL.
|School||Compulsory education stage||School website||Ofsted details|
|Snitterfield Primary School||Primary||Primary School||Ofsted details for unique reference number 125521|
Sports and leisure
The local Scouts Group is 'Bearley & Snitterfield' which includes Beaver, Cub and Scout sections.
The village has one pub,The Snitterfield Arms and a village shop, (voted England's best in 2002). The other village pub, The Foxhunter, was badly damaged by fire in June 2007 and after lying in a dilapidated condition for 5 years was demolished following an application by the local council. It is to be replaced by residential properties.
The village has grown with a 10% increase in the amount of housing between 2002 and 2003. Further development is limited to barn conversions and plots for no more than five properties.
- Richard Shakespeare, grandfather of the poet, is first mentioned in the manorial records of Snitterfield in 1535 and finally in 1560. He does not appear in the registers which begin in 1561 and is believed to have died in the intervening time. His wife, Abigail Webb, mother of John Shakespeare the poet's father, and a sister of Mary Webb (Mary Arden's mother) died in Snitterfield in 1595. Another of her sons, Henry, remained in the parish until his death in 1596.
- John Shakespeare, father of William Shakespeare, was born here but moved to Stratford having married Mary Arden and in 1579 surrendered his interests in the family property in Snitterfield to Robert Webbe.
- John Grant was born in Snitterfield of an old and respected family and lived at the now demolished moated house of Norbrook. He was brother-in-law to Thomas Wintour whose sister, Dorothy, he had married and was recruited into the Gunpowder Plot along with Robert Wintour and Catesby's servant Thomas Bates in March 1605. Norbrook became the plotters' Warwickshire headquarters and magazine, Grant stored gunpowder and weapons during the summer of 1605 and rode from here to the Red Lion Inn, Dunchurch to await news of Guy Fawkes' attempt. When the failure became known the conspirators dispersed, some to Norbrook where they rested the night of 6 November 1605 before making their way to Holbeche House, Staffordshire where they made their final stand. Here, Grant was blinded, his eyes being burnt out when a spark from the fire ignited the gunpowder they were trying to dry, which had become wet on the journey. He was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. After being found guilty along with the other conspirators, on Thursday 30 January he was executed at St Pauls Cathedral, London along with Digby, Thomas Wintour and Bates. He refused to confess his treason saying it was "no sin against God". Abominably blinded, he allowed himself to be led quietly up the ladder to the halter and after crossing himself, went to his death. His estate was confiscated and granted to Bartholomew Hales, then Lord of Snitterfield.
- Richard Jago, the poet, was rector here from 1754 to 1781. He was born in 1715 at Beaudesert Rectory, Henley in Arden where his father Richard was rector. Educated at Solihull Grammar School, one of the houses is named after him, where he met another minor poet William Shenstone. From there he went to University College, Oxford where he took his MA in 1738 having been made curate at Snitterfield the previous year. He became vicar of Harbury in 1746 and shortly after Chesterton both in Warwickshire followed by Snitterfield in 1754 where he took up residence until his death in 1781. Lord Willoughby de Broke presented him with the rectory at Kimcote in Leicestershire in 1771 and he resigned Harbury and Chesterton keeping Snitterfiled and Kimcote. His best known poem is the long topographical, Edge Hill (1767). Three silver birches were planted in the vicarage garden by his daughters.
- John Wootton, an English painter and illustrator of sporting subjects, battle scenes and landscapes, was born in Snitterfield around 1682. He probably received some instruction from Jan Wyck in the 1690s, and was possibly patronized from an early age by the aristocratic households of Beaufort and Coventry (as was Wyck), perhaps while working as a page to Lady Anne Somerset at Snitterfield House. Snitterfield House was situated south of the church, built in the late 17th century it was demolished in the early 19th century. However, there seems to be no real evidence for this save his early painted view of the house and the family’s later acquisition of many of his works. Joseph Farington saw a painting of Diana and the Nymphs (1707; untraced) at Antony House, Cornwall, but Wootton’s earliest extant dated work is the horse portrait Bonny Black (1711; Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire). By this time he had begun to establish himself in London, having moved there before his first marriage, to Elizabeth Walsh, in 1706. He was a subscriber to the first English Academy of Painting and Drawing in 1711 and by 1717 had been elected a steward of the Virtuosi Club of St Luke’s. He died in London on 13 November 1764.
- Place Names in the Landscape, Margaret Gelling, 1984 ISBN 0-460-04380-3
- Domesday Book for Warwickshire, Phillimore edited by John Morris ISBN 0-85033-141-2
- Stratford on Avon district council web page
- A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 3
- Churches of Warwickshire, Matthew Holbeche Bloxam; William Staunton, 1847
- "The Monarch's Way". The Quinton Oracle. 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Warwickshire People and Places, John Burman, 1936
- Dictionary of National Biography, William Shakespeare
- The Gunpowder Plot, Antonia Fraser, 1996 ISBN 0-7493-2357-4
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Snitterfield.|
- Village Website
- Snitterfield Cricket Club
- Welcombe Hills Vineyard
- Snitterfield General Stores
- Bearley & Snitterfield Scouts Website
- Stratford on Avon Gliding Club Website
- Views of William Shakespeare's grandfather's house in Snitterfield