The history of Cropredy village
The village of Cropredy, on the River Cherwell,
has its roots in Anglo-Saxon times and its name is thought to be derived from
the Old English word "croppe" - meaning hill and "ridig" - small stream. The
village and its manor were mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and before the
Reformation it was part of the estate held by the Bishop of Lincoln.
and the manor were originally governed by authorities at Lincoln Cathedral,
with administration being conducted from a manor house in '
about a fifth of the parish had been let as a separate manor with a second
manor house on the 'Long Causeway' (now known as
The Public House in the centre of the village still bears the name 'Brasenose Arms' and was originally 3 copyhold cottages, one of which was used as a forge in 1572. Cropredy's other Public House, 'The Red Lion' retains its thatched roof and also has a long history. It has been passed down through the same family from the time of the Civil War to the 1900's.
the village was mainly a farming community but following the Enclosure Act in
1775 most farmers built new houses outside the village. Their empty properties were converted for use
by a variety of local trades people.
The (former) Great Western Railway runs on the north western side of the village and in 1852 a station was opened for the use of both passengers and freight. A busy goods siding and yard was used for handling a variety of supplies for coal merchants, Cropredy mill, local farmers, builders and other tradesmen. In the 1930's the return fare to Banbury was sixpence! However, with the increase in road transport, the passenger service ceased first, followed by the freight service when British Railways closed the station in 1956.
former village Post Office used to be a Methodist Chapel. It was
replaced by the adjacent Chapel and Schoolroom which was constructed by village
mason Thomas Cherry. Amazingly the foundation stone was laid on
The remains of a medieval preaching cross can be seen near to the Village Green. This is now very much weathered and is known locally as the 'Cup and Saucer' which it resembles.
is perhaps most well known for two outstanding events - one Ancient and one
Modern. During the Civil War, on
In 1976 Fairport Convention were invited to play at the village fete which was being held that year at Prescote Manor, the home of the late Richard Crossman MP and the late Mrs Anne Crossman, a short distance from Cropredy Lock. Several hundred people attended and the Cropredy Music Festival as it has come to be known was born. Today over 20,000 fans flock annually in early August for the three day event, now held on a large site close to the Sports Field. The village naturally benefits financially and residents go out of their way to welcome those attending, whether camping and staying over or just present for the day. Many organisations provide al fresco breakfasts and the Scouts do a marvelous job preparing for the Festival and cleaning up afterwards. Since 2005 the Festival has been under new management and is now renamed 'Fairport's Cropredy Convention'
Cropredy is rare among villages in that it still retains its Curfew. The following extract from 'The Town of Cropredy 1570-1640' by Pamela Keegan explains why the custom has continued: Time keeping was difficult when no-one had clocks. At first they relied on the scratch dial which was hopeless on cloudy days. When Roger Lupton was the priest (1487-1528) he lost his way returning from Chacombe in a fog and only the sound of the Cropredy Bell tolling helped him to reach home safely.
gratitude he made an Indenture on
- Cropredy Parish Council