A Look at the Past: The story of Stratton
Part Two – the ancient manor from 1764 to 1944 IN 1764 Stratton Manor was purchased by the trustees of Curtis Barnett who had died in 1746 at Fort St David. His widow Elizabeth lived at Stratton until her death in 1775. Brigadier Charles Barnett, who died
Part Two - the ancient manor from 1764 to 1944
IN 1764 Stratton Manor was purchased by the trustees of Curtis Barnett who had died in 1746 at Fort St David. His widow Elizabeth lived at Stratton until her death in 1775.
Brigadier Charles Barnett, who died in 1804, was the next squire. His son Charles was master of the Cambridgeshire Fox Hounds from 1829 to 1867 and also the first chairman of the Board of Guardians. He died in 1876 followed by son Captain Charles Fitzroy Barnett who had served in India.
Charles died in 1887, survived by a widow, Lucy, and their last son Clayton Barnett who died in 1900 leaving Mrs Barnett with the estate. She was president of the Harvey Habitation of the Primrose League, an active worker with the church taking a great interest in both day and Sunday schools.
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She was noted for her sympathy, assistance and advice and often entertained older inmates of the workhouse at her home. There are many memorials to the family in St Andrew's Church.
Mrs Lucy Barnett died in 1908 and the whole estate was put up for sale on June 29, 1910, at the Town Hall. Bedfordshire County Council purchased large parts of the estate with the remainder sold to local market gardeners. The mansion was let to James Clouston, of Seamer House Schoo,l and became Parkfield School.
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Briefly, the school aimed to prepare boys between seven and 14 years mentally, physically and morally for the next stage in their education.
The principals were Capt G B Pratt (retired) and R C Connor Green Esq. (Cantab). Fees were 125 guineas per year, payable each year in advance, with a reduction of 10 per cent for sons of clergy and officers in service.
The school continued at Stratton until September 1935 when it relocated to Aldenham leaving an empty mansion.
During the Second World War, the grounds were used as a lookout by the Home Guard. After the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, returned soldiers were billeted in the empty house.
The house was occupied again in 1942 when the Scottish Horse, Royal Artillery was stationed there with 4.5 and 5.5-inch medium guns. The regiment departed to take their part in the D-Day landings in 1944.
Up my street
Northfields derives its name from being at the northern end of a post war council estate