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Brailes (Warwickshire)

Brailes shown within Warwickshire
Population 1,046
OS grid reference SP3139
District Stratford-on-Avon
Shire county Warwickshire
Region West Midlands
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BANBURY
Postcode district OX15
Dialling code 01608
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
European Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Stratford-upon-Avon
List of places: UKEnglandWarwickshire

Coordinates: 52°03'04?N 1°32'39?W? / ?52.0511, -1.5442

Brailes (spelt Brayles in early documents) is a small village about three miles east of Shipston-on-Stour and close to the border between Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. It is made up of the two linear villages of Lower and Upper Brailes, but is often referred to as one village, as the two elements have little boundary between them.

Brailes parish includes the hamlet of Winderton, which is about one mile to the north of Brailes. The 2001 census gave the population of the parish as 1023. Brailes is situated among many hills, with Upper Brailes built on the side of Brailes Hill, recognisable by the clump of trees (the "Highwall Coppice") on its top and the second-highest point in Warwickshire.[1] The east side of the village is bordered by Mine Hill, which can be easily identified by the TV mast at its centre, and Holloway Hill, up which the B4035 runs towards Banbury. In the middle of the village is the man-made Castle Hill, once an ancient burial ground and base for a motte-and-bailey castle.[2]

Brailes' most famous resident was William de Brailes, one of only two known artists of the many responsible for 13th-century illuminated manuscripts.[3]


[edit] Landmarks

St. George's Church, locally referred to as "The Cathedral of the Feldon" (the Feldon being "the land from which the timber has been cleared away"),[4] is situated in Lower Brailes on Stocks Hill - so called as it was once the location of the stocks and now the location of a War Memorial - near the George Hotel and Brailes post office. The church's tower is 120 feet (36.5m) tall and houses the second-largest six-bell peal in the world.[5] Down the hill from St. George's Church is the smaller Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, built in 1726 and situated upstairs in an old barn adjoining the now-derelict Old Rectory. On the other side of Stocks Hill is Brailes House, once home to the Sheldon family and now owned by John Maples, MP.

In Lower Brailes there are two old school builings - the Free School and the Old School - which are now only used rarely.

In the area between the two villages, there is situated Brailes Primary School, with about 100 pupils; the playing fields and pavilion; and the Village Hall.

In Upper Brailes, there is a Methodist Chapel (built in 1863), and The Gate, Brailes' second Pub.

Just outside Brailes to the south is Brailes Golf Club, a fairly large 18-hole course.

In recent years remains of a Roman Villa have been found, but they are far too scattered by years of cultivation to be of any significance. Brailes has ploughed its history into the fields.

[edit] Events

Castle Hill, Mine Hill and Brailes Hill are covered in the annual Brailes Three Hills Walk, held on the first Monday in May each year. For this walk, walkers are allowed across private land to the Highwall Coppice, which is not accessible at other times of year. The money raised by the walk goes to the school and the pavilion.

On the Saturday following Guy Fawkes Night, a large Bonfire with fireworks is held in the playing fields. On this night, there is a barbecue and a popular pig roast.

On a Saturday towards the end of August, the Brailes Show is held. At the show there are small equestrian events, a marquee with exhibits from locals, many stalls, old cars, motorbikes and steam engines, as well as an enclosure in which activities, such as children's competitions, and performances, often falconry or the local Fire Engine, are held. On the evening of the show, the "Farmer's Ball" is held in the marquee, with two or three bands playing, often including the Strolling Bones (a Rolling Stones tribute band).

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. , "The Warwickshire Village Book", compiled by Warwickshire Women's Institutes, p26. Countryside Books, 1988
  2. , "The Warwickshire Village Book", compiled by Warwickshire Women's Institutes, p26. Countryside Books, 1988
  3. , Mee, Arthur: "The King's England - Warwickshire", pp65-7. Hodder and Stoughton, 1936
  4. , Evans, Herbert A: "Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds", pp131-2. Macmillan and Co., 1905
  5. , The Cotswolds - Brailes

(Source: Wikipedia)
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