This archive of Southrop is a record of some of the houses in Southrop and of the people who have lived in them.
In 1985 the Southrop Wives conceived the idea of documenting the residents of Southrop by collecting photographs of the occupants of each house. Several people were involved in the early stages but as the project developed most of the work was done by Muriel Howarth, who delved back into the records in the Gloucester Records Office and in Wadham College, Oxford. She collected a vast amount of information about the village and the people who live in it now and those who came before. Muriel died in 2007 and all the information she collected (which occupied two filing cabinets containing 38 ring binders) now belongs to the village.
Although all the buildings built before 2000 are included in the archive we have chosen here to concentrate on the older houses and cottages, and so give a picture of how life for the villagers has evolved over the last 100 or so years. The project collected photographs of the current occupants, and as many of the former occupants as was possible.
The material on these pages has come from many places, but the main sources have been the memories of local villagers, various national censuses and the records held by Wadham College, Oxford, which owned much of the village from 1612 (when the college was founded) until 1926. We have checked as many facts as we can but there are still many uncertainties. We welcome corrections and comments which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first record of the village is contained in the Domesday Book as Sudthropa or ‘the southern independent farmstead’. The name ‘thorp’ being Saxon and not Danish as was thought in the past, although the village lay close to the borders of the Danelaw.
Under Edward the Confessor, the manor was held by Tosti, but by AD1085 (Domesday) the owner was one Walter Fitzpons. A mill is recorded and this was probably on the site of the mill which existed until the 1960s, when the renovated building was burned down.
The existence of a priest is also recorded, which presupposes a church and would suggest an even earlier foundation, possibly Saxon, than the present building which dates mainly from the 12th century.
Other Domesday evidence gives the manor ten hides or 1,440 acres, four teams of oxen for the lord and eight for the tenant, with a male adult population of thirty five.
1755 map of Southrop The original is held by Wadham College, Oxford, and a larger reproduction is on display in Southrop Village Hall