Reprinted July, 2019.
This circular walk leaflet contains an illustrated map, full route and information about the many points of interest along the way.
Distance: 1 mile /1.6 km (fairly strenuous)
Time: Allow 1 hours
What is remarkable about Stratton is the rightness of its setting. On a spur, facing south with its back to the worst of the weather, this ancient settlement is surrounded by fertile soil and a plentiful supply of water. It happens also to be sited on one of the early ridge roads into Cornwall which may be reflected in its name – ‘Straeneaton’ in King Alfred’s will, dated 880 AD, ‘Stratone’ in the Domesday record of 1087 at which time the town was by far the largest and most important place in the Hundred to which it gave its name.
It was for many centuries, as we know from the Stratton Stockwardens’ accounts dating from the early 16th century and from later parish records, a busy market town, largely self-governing and self-sufficient. The town had its full complement of traders and craftsmen who lived in the street houses with workshops and steadings behind, accessible through covered cart ways. Most of these people held land which they farmed around the town.
It was not until Bude, at the seaward end of the parish, began to develop after the middle of the 19th century as a harbour for coastal shipping and, later with the coming of the railway as a seaside resort, that Stratton began to lose status. First the craftsmen, then the traders and shopkeepers began to disappear as Bude became the centre for local government, the police, the fire service, secondary education and most of the retail trade. The future of Stratton seemed to be just a very pleasant residential backwater, which is what it is today.