As a place to live Long Marston offers an idyllic rural location with excellent communication in terms of access to rail, road and bus networks with direct trains to London, Birmingham and Manchester, for example, from a variety of local stations, with the M5, M40 and M42 all within easy access.
The Masons Arms pub is the “village local” with lots going on throughout the year. We have a volunteer run village shop, a village hall and a beautiful old church.
There are Primary schools near Long Marston in both Lower Quinton and Welford-on-Avon, with the senior schools based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour, Alcester and Chipping Campden.
In terms of medical provision Long Marston is well supported with GP and Dental practices in Lower Quinton and Bidford on Avon.
From a cultural perspective, nearby Stratford upon Avon is home to the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company and their new state of the art Theatre Complex. The top class venues of Birmingham are easily reached by bus train or car.
The village was originally known as Marston Sicca. The main part of the name, Marston, is a common English name meaning marsh, farm or village. It is derived from two old English words “Mersc”, meaning marsh and “Tun” meaning farm or village.
The first written evidence of a settlement was in 1043 when Earl Leofric granted Long Marston to the monks of Coventry on condition that a church was built within the Parish. The village is mentioned in William I’s Domesday Book in 1086, and was then in Gloucestershire. Some 200 years later the ‘Manor’ was sold to the Abbey of Winchcombe for 1130 marks (£753.33). It seems most likely that it was they who built the church of St James the Great sometime in the middle of the 14th Century.
In 1479 William Tomes took a lease on the Abbey Manor, at a yearly rent of £8.66, by this agreement the Lordship of the Manor was divorced from the land itself. Fifty years later came the dissolution of the monasteries and the Abbey of Winchcombe, landlord of Long Marston for 300 years, ceased to exist when the crown took possession of Abbey lands.
There the ownership remained until 1566 when Queen Elizabeth I granted the Lordship and the Manor of Long Marston to Robert, Earl of Leicester. Eleven years on, in 1577, John Kecke and John Tomes, both yeomen, purchased the land and manor from him for £1180.12s. The Earl of Leicester retained the Lordship of the Manor until about 1602 when it was sold to Edward Sheldon, one of a well known Warwickshire family. The Sheldons, at intervals, held a court on the village, presumably at Court Farm.
The three principal families of the times were Tomes, Kecke, and Cooper. When John Cooper died in 1643 he left £300 for the erection and maintenance of a free school for boys from Long Marston and neighbouring Parishes. The school was closed by Gloucester Local Education Authority in 1910, having served the needs of the village for some 260 years. John Cooper’s money is still distributed by trustees in grants for educational purposes.
The Tomes family were associated with the village until the sale of King’s Lodge in 1976. It was at this residence in 1651 that Charles II stayed for one night, being a fugitive after his disastrous defeat at the battle of Worcester. The house known as Hopkins in Wyre Lane is reputed to be one of the oldest remaining in Warwickshire having been constructed in the 14th century with additional work done in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Orchards and allotments dominated the village in the early 19th and 20th centuries, but now only none remain, having been lost to building and economic change.
In about 1880 the village school was built on land given by the Tomes. Shortly afterwards the coming of the railway marked great change for the village.
The Lynch-gate war memorial commemorates those who fell in two World Wars. Events that occurred during the Second World War changed the character of the village. One third of the land within the parish was taken for the aerodrome and army camp.
Electricity came to the village in 1948, but it wasn’t until 1977 that Long Marston was the last village in the county to be provided with mains sewage service. Shortly after the war the village school was closed and in 1976 the last train ran through Long Marston.
(Extracted from the 2001 Village Appraisal)
The Long Marston Village Parish Council is still known as marston Sicca Parish Council.