Wootton Wawen is a small village and civil parish in the Stratford - upon - Avon district about 2 miles (3.2 km) miles south of Henley - in - Arden and 6.65 miles (10.70 km) miles north of Stratford - upon - Avon and 20 miles (32 km) from Birmingham.
The scenery is attractive, the land being well wooded and undulating, rising from about 200 feet (61 m), in the south to 488 feet (149 m), in the north-west at College Farm, above Forde Hall. Near here is Mockley Wood, which, with May's Wood in the centre of the parish and Austy Wood near Edstone, is one of the larger blocks of woodland. The older part of the village straddling the A3400 is designated as a 'Conservation Area' because of its open, rural character and many fine, old buildings.
Its name means "farm near a wood, belonging to Wagen". Wagen or Waga is a Scandinavian name. Wootton is first mentioned when Æthelbald, King of the Mercians, gave to the Earl Aethilric 20 hides of land for a minster between the years 723 and 737. The first wooden church was built at Wootton as a direct result of this charter of land, (around 2,000 acres) on which to build a monastery or minster of St. Mary. The first church may have been burnt and pillaged by Viking invaders, but between about 970 and 1040, Wagen, an Anglo-Danish landowner, established the present church. This land was in the district of the Stoppingas near to a river called 'Aeluuinnae', now known as Alne.
ST PETER'S CHURCH
St Peter's church is of interest as it has the most pronounced Saxon work in the county and is the oldest church in Warwickshire, although much dates to later times. It comprises a chancel with a South chapel, nave, South aisle and on the North the tower embattled and pinnacled. There are also North and South porches the east jamb of the south porch has several votive crosses scored into it. The base of the tower and the first two stages are Saxon with four doorways, the top of the tower is 15th century as are the clerestory, the nave battlements, the north doorway and porch, the middle arch of the arcade, the west window with busts of a king and queen and the east window with a leaf frieze. The tower is the earliest part of the church, preserved in the middle despite restricting views of the chancel from the nave here, is the current site of the altar. The font is a plain octagonal bowl resting on eight sculptured heads similar to others in the county at Snitterfield and Lapworth whilst the old oak pulpit and choir screen is 15th century.
During the Black Death, bodies from Coventry were transported to the churchyard for burial in an area which has become known as the "Coventry Piece". This ground still cannot be disturbed.
Between the mill and the church is Wootton Hall, a large stone building in the Palladian style, mainly built in 1687 but incorporating parts of an earlier, probably Elizabethan, house. It was originally the home of the Carington family. Outbuildings behind the house are possibly the remains of the earlier manor-house. At the end of the Second World War the Hall was in a dilapidated condition and threatened with demolition but was bought in 1958 by Mr Bill Allen, of Allens caravans, who developed the grounds into a mobile home park. This development rescued and restored the Hall and revitalized the community.
Wootton Hall is not open to the public.
Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, B95 6BD