Water Stratford


"This place has its situation on an old Roman road. The parish is on the borders of Oxfordshire, the banks of the Ouse, and the branch of the Buckinghamshire Railway from Winslow to Brackley and Banbury. Area, 1082 acres; population, 179; rateable value, £1174. The soil is stony, intermixed with gravel and clay. The Village is small and compact, and stands delightfully on an eminence gradually sloping down to the river Ouse. It is distant 3 1/2 miles W. by N. from Buckingham.." [History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, by James Joseph Sheahan, 1862]



The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Dictionary of English Place-Names", A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0 19 28131 3
"History and Topography of Buckinghamshire", Sheahan, James Joseph, 1862
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Buckingham Hundred, Volume 7", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Water Stratford have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Buckingham Hundred, Volume 7", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 34 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Water Stratford.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 143 inhabitants in 23 families living in 23 houses recorded in Water Stratford.

Census YearPopulation of Water Stratford

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Giles, Water Stratford have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1596 - 1996
Marriages1596 - 1946
Banns1768 - 1996
Burials1596 - 1996

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1754 - 1813
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Water Stratford showed the following numbers:

Water Stratford, 
St Giles
50 to 60 - Morning General Congregation
20 - Morning Sunday Scholars

70 to 80 - Afternoon General Congregation
23 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Water Stratford which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Water Stratford has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Water Stratford was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

WATER-STRATFORD, in the hundred and deanery of Buckingham, lies about three miles north-west of the county town. The manor belonged anciently to a family who took their name from this place: about the year 1350 it passed to the Giffords: it was afterwards successively in the families of Barton, Fowler, Frankys, and Egerly: by the latter it was sold about the year 1703 to Thomas Cookes Winford, eldest son of Sir Thomas Winford baronet, of whose representatives it was purchased by the family of the present proprietor, B. Hayes esq.

In the church are some memorials of the family of Frankys. The Marquis of Buckingham is patron of the rectory. The advowson belonged formerly to the priory of Luffield. Dr. Robert Sipthorpe, rector of this parish, was charged by the parliament with having been the cause of the fatal rupture between them and their monarch, by his having preached up the royal prerogative as being above the law.

John Mason who was presented to the rectory of Water-Stratford in 1674, became in the latter part of his life a visionary enthusiast: Granger calls him a man of unaffected piety and says that he was esteemed to be possessed of learning and abilities above the common level, till he became bewildered in the mysteries of Calvinism. He was himself firmly persuaded, and persuaded multitudes that he was Elias appointed to proclaim the second advent of our Saviour. Among other prophecies he foretold his own resurrection after three days. Great numbers of his deluded followers left their homes and filled all the houses and barns in the neighbourhood of Water-Stratford. Mr. Mason printed a set of rhapsodical hymns for the use of his disciples who sang them in the fields, and we are told that every vagabond and village fidler round the country bore a part in the rude concert; he died in full conviction of the reality of his mission. Although from the nature of his prophecies, and the failure of their accomplishment, it might have been expected that his sect would have been more short-lived, and not withstanding his successor, Mr. Rushworth, opened his grave some time after his interment, and exposed his corpse to view with the intention of convincing his parishioners of the falsity of his predecessor's prophecies and the wildness of his tenets, yet they continued for several years to assemble at a place they called Holy ground, where some of them affirmed that they had seen and spoken with Mr. Mason after his death. When they were prevented from assembling in this field, they met at a house in Water-Stratford. Three pamphlets on this subject were published in 1694, the year after Mr. Mason's death.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP652344 (Lat/Lon: 52.004218, -1.051601), Water Stratford which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name of Water Stratford is composed of two parts. The first, 'Water' derives from the old english word wæter, and means 'river, stream'. The second part, 'Stratford' derives from the old english words stræt + ford, and means 'ford on a Roman road'.