Marston history: Descriptions

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Marston in 1914

Kelly’s Directory of Oxford, 1914:

MARSTON is a parish and village on the river Cherwell, which forms part of the boundary of the parish and across which there is a ferry to this place in connection with the Banbury road, north of Oxford. The village is 2¼ miles north-north-east from Oxford, in the Mid division of the county, hundred and petty sessional division of Bullingdon, union of Headington, county court district of Oxford, rural deanery of Islip, archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford.

The church of St. Nicholas is a plain but ancient edifice of stone, in the Transitional and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and a low embattled western tower containing 5 bells: the Perpendicular chancel is well proportioned and has an east window of three lights, with a spray of oak foliage carved in the apex of the dripstone: the recess of the first window on the south side is carried down and forms a sedile, and eastward of it is a small square piscina; on the same side is a blocked door, with a heavy carved label on the outside: some fragments of ancient glass linger in these windows: the chancel arch is Transition Norman and near it is a hagioscope looking from the south aisle; in the north aisle is an aumbry: the nave has arcades of four arches on the north and three on the south side, of the same style as the chancel arch, but not equally early: the clerestoried windows are Late Perpendicular, as are the walls of both aisles and the north door: the tower partakes of the same features: the pulpit is Jacobean, and in the pier above is a blocked entrance once connected with the rood loft; in the chancel is a mural monument and a brass to Unton Croke esq. M.P. for Oxford, 1659, and one of the commissioners for the security of the Protector, serjeant-at-law, ob. 1671, and to Anne, his wife, daughter and heir of Richard Here [= Hore] esq. of Marston; the church was restored in 1883 at a cost of £1,400, when the chancel was new roofed: there are 200 sittings: the churchyard , considerably enlarged during 1894, formerly contained a cross, but this was taken down in 1830 in order to mend the church wall. The chalice is of early 14th century workmanship. The register dates from the year 1654. The living is a vicarage, tithe rent-charge £182, net yearly value £191, in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford, and held since 1905 by the Rev. John Hamilton Mortimer M.A. of Magdalen College, Oxford.

There is a Mission room at New Marston, connected with the church, and a Boy Scouts’ hall for the two villages, built at the expense of Miss Peto in 1913; it is equipped with a rifle range, which is also used by the Marston Rifle Club.

One hundred acres of land in this parish are let for the benefit of the proprietors of Marston and of the poor; the portion assigned to the poor is fixed by a committee according to a scale agreed upon; the rent-charge is termed “Forest money”. A portion of the Forest farm formerly belonged to the poor of Marston, given to them in lieu of forest rights in the time of Charles II; this has been sold and is now vested in the Charity Commissioners; the income is distributed yearly in coal.

The village cross, distinct from that formerly in the churchyard, stood at a turning on the road at a point now marked by a cross cut in the wall by the roadside; it was taken down about 1830 on the alleged reason that it impeded the traffic, and the materials used for mending the road and making some granary stairs in the village.

The old manor house, the residence during the Civil War of Unto Croke esq., was for the most part removed in 1843 and partly replaced by stone cottages; the portion of the old house still remaining retains on the north side two gable windows and a blocked doorway, and is called “Cromwell Castle”: here in 1645 (May 22), Cromwell and Fairfax met to take measures for the siege of Oxford, and the mansion was also used as a place of meeting in May, 1646, by the Royal and Parliamentary Commissioners during the negotiations for the surrender of Oxford. to the Croke family, of Marston, belonged the eccentric wanderer, Charles Croke, who in 1667, under the pseudonym of “Rodolphus”, published an account of his rambles, entitled “Youth’s Inconstancy”.

Colonel Hoole is lord the manor. The principal landowners are Brasenose and Corpus Christi colleges, the University of Oxford and the trustees of the late Edwin Rippington esq.

The soil is loam and clay; subsoil, clay and gravel. The land is chiefly pasture, but wheat and barley are also grown. The area is 1,160 acres; rateable value, £4,108; the population in 1911 was 716.

Part of New Marston is in the parish of Headington.

Parish Clerk, Richard Ward.

Post Office.—Richard Joseph Ward, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive through Oxford at 6.45 a.m. and 1.20 p.m. & dispatched at 12.10 & 6.10 p.m. week days; on sundays 11.30 p.m. Headington is the nearest money order & telegraph office. Postal orders are issued here, & paid

Post Office, New Marston.—Mrs. Louisa Carter, subpostmistress. Letters arrive through Oxford at 7.15 a.m. & 1.15 p.m.; sundays 7.15 a.m.; dispatched at 7.40 a.m., 12.30 & 6.10 p.m.; sundays, 11.40 p.m. St. Clement’s is the nearest money order & telegraph office. Postal orders are issued here, & paid

Parish Council (consisting of 7 members
Chairman: William Roberts
Messrs. C. Webb, George Gunn, Ernest Aires, R. J. Ward, S. G. Buckett, John Eadle& William Roberts
Clerk & Assistant Overseer, Arthur Broughton

National School (mixed), erected in 1851,enlarged in 1887 & 1894; it will now hold 125 children; average attendance, 78; Herbert Chapman, master

Boy Scouts (9th Oxford Troop), Miss E. Peto, scoutmaster, Hall, New Marston

Carriers.—Willis, to Oxford daily, except thurs.; Sumner & Poulton, wed. & sat.


© Stephanie Jenkins

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