Gaydon Parish Plan 2012–2017



Background Information

The Action Plan




Developing the Parish Plan

The Parish Council agreed that Gaydon needed a Parish Plan. Following preliminary groundwork a team of volunteers was established in March 2011 to carry out the process and produce a Plan.

The objectives of the Plan were to:

The Gaydon Parish Plan Team was set up to consult parishioners and develop a questionnaire to be sent to all houses in the Parish.

The Team developed the questionnaire, with Stratford District Council designing the final version.

Volunteers delivered two questionnaires per household in late November with a closing date of December 12th. This period was extended until early January 2012 to encourage a higher response. The volunteers left covering information sheets that gave the householder the opportunity to request additional questionnaires and give any help he or she required to complete the questionnaire. The volunteers also collected the questionnaires from the households. Anyone over the age of 11 was encouraged to complete the questionnaire.

There were 335 questionnaires issued. Of the 215 returned 13 were blank. This represents a response rate of 64% and allows for meaningful analysis of the results.

An independent market research company processed all responses, with Stratford District Council Consultation Unit writing a final report. Copies of this report and summary results headline results of the questionnaire were made available on the Gaydon website.

An all day Parish Plan public meeting was held on Saturday 31 March 2012 at which the full analysis of the Parish Plan Questionnaire was on display.

Members of the public were able to comment upon the questionnaire results and make further suggestions for ways to improve Gaydon and to express concerns not covered by the questionnaire. These were incorporated into the plan process

In total 55 people residents attended the meeting.

Background Information


Map of Gaydon Parish

map of Gaydon Parish


Village Centre Street Map

Street map of Gaydon


View of Gaydon from the Air

Arial view of Gaydon



Gaydon is a small village comprising about 188 dwellings and about 350 people. It has a mixed housing stock ranging from large properties to Housing Association flats and a few farms with their land within the Parish boundary.

Gaydon is bounded on three sides by MOD Kineton, Jaguar Land Rover Test Facility, and the M40 motorway.

The mix of population has changed in recent years after the departure of about 10% of the village who were Plymouth Brethren. Gaydon's proximity to Birmingham, its good access to the M40, and its rapid rail links to London from Leamington Spa and Banbury mean that a significant number of people commute to work. The pleasant rural setting also means that many people work from home.

There is no longer a school in the village, it closed in 1974. However, there are six primary schools within 3-4 miles and a secondary school in Kineton.

In the parish there is an Esso filling station, a small local garage that does MOTs, an agricultural machinery business, a master saddler, a graphic design and specialist printing company, the offices of a car auction business, two public houses, a residential care home for people with learning disabilities, and a community village shop.

Within the Parish area there is the Heritage Motor Museum which has a conference centre and plans for a hotel; Aston Martin's headquarters; Jaguar Land Rover with its Design and Test Centre and vehicle delivery site; two events management companies and a composting and landfill site.

Plans are under consideration to expand the number of employees at the Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin sites. The M40 junction is already under pressure and there are tailbacks at peak times. Changes to Junction 12 are under discussion.

A number of responses in the Parish Plan survey talked about generating more 'community spirit' or community activity. The recent street parties for the Royal Wedding and the Jubilee were mentioned as good examples of this. The opportunity exists for this type of activity, but as with any event or community activity, it requires people to get involved to make it happen.

Activities in the village include a choir (Gaydon Voices), a Pilates group, the Millennium Group which manages some village events, the Friendship Club and an Allotment Group.

The parish church of St Giles is part of the Dassett Magna group of parishes and regular Church of England services are held there.

Gaydon Village Hall, built in 1886, is believed to be the second oldest purpose-built village hall in the country. It is held in trust for the village and is available for hire, with preferential rates for villagers.

Overall, the friendly village of Gaydon is well-placed and provides a rural setting with easy access to the industrial heartland of the Midlands.


The Action Plan


The period covered by this plan is five years. Subject to adoption by the Parish Council by the end of 2012 this cover the period, January 2013 to December 2017.

Where percentages are quoted, these are based on the number of respondents to the questionnaire.

The action plans are divided into sections corresponding to the divisions in the questionnaire. Each section is preceded by a background description to put the actions in context. This is followed by a list of actions each of which identifies a body or organisation which is responsible for taking the lead in accomplishing the action. In some cases, for example the Parish Council, these bodies exist. Some actions will need to be done by volunteers.

No attempt has been made to prioritise the actions or to set timescales. Some actions are easy, some require a lot of time and resources, and some are, and will forever be, ongoing. They all need to be done. It is left to the organisations or individuals who take responsibility for the actions to set their priorities.

When the plan is adopted it will be the responsibility of the Parish Council to review the progress of the plan. The plan team suggests they do this annually.



demographics demographics


67% of dwellings are owner occupied, 19% are rented from housing associations, and 9% are rented privately.

Two thirds of the villagers are of working age (18-64), one fifth are retired.

Three quarters of villagers have lived here for more than 5 years.

15% of people suffer from a long term illness or disability. A third say that there are problems for the less able in Gaydon, many are caused by pavement obstructions.


Parish Council
to identify specific problems disabled people encounter




Over a third of people thought that the Parish Council could improve its communications by making better use of information technology.

The majority of people find local information through the village magazine and made a number of suggestions for additional items they would like to see included.

72% of residents were not happy with their broadband connection.

Notice board Magazine


Parish Council
Parish Council
Parish Plan Team
Gaydon volunteers
Gaydon volunteers
Parish Council
Gaydon volunteers
publish contact details of councillors on the notice board, website and magazine
to work at improving its communication
communicate Parish Plan comments to committee of Parish Magazine
review village website: to make it more user friendly; more interactive
to explore other locations for notice boards and sources of funding
has a broadband champion to coordinate broadband improvement
to produce a welcome pack for new residents



housing housing
housing housing


60% of people would support limited housing development, to be sold on the open market.
Half of those questioned were in favour of low cost housing.

76% of those surveyed were not in favour of either a temporary or permanent site for travellers in the area.

Currently Gaydon has no specific status in the adopted Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review. It is proposed the village would have Local Service Village status in the emerging Core Strategy.

A local housing needs survey for the parish was undertaken in 2006. This identified a need for one affordable home.


Gaydon volunteers
Parish Council
to identify possible sites for the preferred developments.
to consider the above points with regard to future policy.



roads roads


Residents were concerned about the speed of traffic travelling thorough the village.
They were also concerned about the volume of traffic generated by Aston Martin and Jaguar/Land Rover.
49% of people were not satisfied with maintenance of roads.
Over half of those surveyed wanted better public transport.
69% would use the service if it was more frequent.


Gaydon volunteers

Parish Council
Parish Council
Parish Council
Parish Council
Parish Council
Parish Council
Gaydon volunteers

assess volume and speed of the traffic; use the data to identify sites for calming measures e.g. gates at entrances to village
monitor any proposals for road development
ask WCC to change the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph for all roads
ask WCC to implement calming measures where appropriate
ask highways to introduce a weight restriction on traffic using Church Road
add road maintenance to a councillor's responsibilities;
continue to lobby WCC to repair and maintain roads
gather data on bus usage and needs to support requests for improved services



floods floods


In July 2007 23 houses were flooded.
One third did not think enough had been done to prevent further floods.
The Parish Council maintains a Plan to cope with any emergencies.
One in ten residents were willing to be on the emergency team.


Parish Council
Parish Council

appoint a council member to be responsible for flood prevention
produce and publish a flood prevention plan,
taking note of suggestions in appendix 18 of the Parish Plan Report



footways footways


This section covers pedestrian ways and bridleways within the parish. The tarmac surfaced paths in the village are referred to as pavements, and the rights of way over fields, as foot paths and bridleways as appropriate.
The survey highlighted the physical condition of pavements and the blocking by vegetation and parked vehicles as a problem for the less able and those with wheelchairs and pushchairs. 49% do not agree that the pavements and footpaths are well maintained.
Nearly half did not think the footpaths and bridleways were well signposted, or usable without difficulty.
The Parish Council has an officer with responsibility for footpaths and bridleways. There is no-one with specific responsibility for pavements.


Parish Council

allocate responsibility for pavements to a parish councillor
inspect and maintain pavements, footpaths, bridleways and report annually
improve footpath and bridleway signs
work reinstate paths after harvest
remove excess vegetation from footpaths
reduce dog fouling on footpaths and pavements . Suggestion - provide supply of plastic bags by bins
consider using more attractive signage - e.g. dog notices
collect litter from footpaths
prevent parking on pavements
provide definitive footpath maps on the web site with OS-references and notes for stiles and gates
make new path to Children's Playground from the pavement to the gate.



amenities amenities


The local amenities listed in the questionnaire include village hall, church, cemetery, community shop, Esso garage and shop, playground, allotments, public houses, and mobile library.
Twenty one people volunteered to share their skills with others.


Gaydon volunteer
Gaydon volunteers
Parish Council (Playground Officer)
needed to coordinate sharing of skills
a volunteer or group of volunteers to promote activities within the village
improve playground facilities (action plan already in place)



energy energy


Almost three quarters of residents were interested in reducing energy usage or carbon emissions.
Over two thirds confirmed that they would like to see an Energy Efficient Group.
A majority were in favour of turning street lights off after midnight
45% of residents were concerned about wind farm developments


Gaydon volunteers
Parish Council
Parish Council
to form an Energy Efficiency Group
liaise with County Council to have the lights turned off during the early hours
monitor wind farm applications in the area and respond accordingly



business business


Almost half were in favour of small business development.
The Heritage Centre, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Aston Martin cause concern for residents in terms of expansion and increasing traffic volume.
The Parish Council is a member of the JLR Liaison Committee.


Parish Council
Parish Council
be aware of residents views when considering any planning applications
work with Liaison Committee to check impact of large business expansion.



Appendix A - Acknowledgements

The Parish Plan team would like to thank the many people helped to put this plan together.

Parish Plan Team

Questionnaire Helpers

Writing for the Plan




Old Village Shop

The landscape of Gaydon is in part determined by its underlying geology. The whole of the parish lies on the Lower Lias clays and thin muddy limestones laid down in shallow tropical seas about 180 million years ago. The Dassett Hills and Edge Hill beyond the parish to the south-east and south are capped by Middle Lias sandy and iron rich limestones, which have been used to construct the church and other buildings in the village. The higher ground on the north-western side of the parish, including the old airfield and Itchington Holt, has a thin layer of glacial Boulder Clay and throughout the parish are pebbles also left behind by the retreat of the ice about 300,000 years ago.

The man-made landscape of Gaydon shows contributions from many ages. The village centre contains substantial houses and farms from the 16th and 17th century. The surrounding land shows remnants of the medieval ridge and furrow cultivation, but is predominantly the landscape of fields established by enclosure in the 1750s. Many brick-built cottages, the village hall and the church were additions of the 19th century.

The only evidence of Iron Age and Roman times in Gaydon is the ancient Salt Way from Droitwich to Northamptonshire, which cuts across the northern edge of the parish near Itchington Holt; and finds from a possible Roman villa site in the fields south of the village centre.

Chadshunt, which included Gaydon, was among the manors, which in Saxon times (1043) were presented by Leofric Earl of Mercia and his more famous wife, Lady Godiva, to the Benedictine monastery they founded in Coventry. By the middle of the 12th century these manors had passed to the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry.

Although Gaydon is not mentioned separately from Chadshunt in the Domesday Book of 1086, it was clearly a separate settlement, recorded as Gaidon by the late 12th century. The name is thought to be derived from the personal name "Gaega" and the Old English word for hill "dun".

old church

A simple medieval chapel, comprising just a small nave and chancel, stood on the site of the current church building from the 13th century until it was replaced in the early 1850s. Only a bell survives from the old church, but unfortunately without any inscription. The old church was secondary to the church in Chadshunt where burials and marriages took place and both were chapels of Bishops Itchington served by Curates appointed by the Vicar of Bishops Itchington until 1879.

The manor of Gaydon along with Chadshunt and Bishops Itchington, was obtained from the Bishop of Lichfield on advantageous terms between 1547 and 1549 by Thomas Fisher, who took advantage of his close association with the Duke of Somerset, governor of the country at the start of the reign of the child King Edward VI. Fisher's son Edward lost his fortune and had to sell off all his property, including Gaydon.

In 1585 John Askell bought about half the land in the village from Edward Fisher and he and his descendants lived in and enlarged the Manor House and erected monuments in Chadshunt church to rival those of the Newsham family of Chadshunt Hall. When Michael Askell died in 1712, the manor lands passed to the Bucknall family in Hertfordshire through the marriage of his daughter.

The records of the Hearth tax in the 1660s and 1670s list all the heads of households and the number of hearths in their houses. In 1674 there were 38 households of which 20 had cottages with only one hearth. There were only five substantial houses with 4 or more hearths, including Mr Askell's Manor house with 5 hearths (the others probably included the houses now known as Poplars Farm and The Old House).

In 1684 Gaydon had its own Great Fire (between the more famous Great Fires in London in 1666 and Warwick in 1694), which destroyed or seriously damaged ten houses and businesses in the centre of the village and was catastrophic enough for a national collection to be instigated to help those affected.

One of the early turnpike roads, from Birmingham to London, via Warwick, Warmington and Banbury was established by parliamentary act in 1725, bringing stagecoach trade to the village and increasing the importance of the Gaydon Inn. The other turnpike road through the village, from Southam to Kineton, was created much later in 1851, and is evidenced by the remaining Gaydon turnpike cottage.

The pattern of fields and farms we now see in Gaydon originates from the enclosure of 1463 acres of common and open fields in 1759 following a private act of Parliament in 1757. This allocated 620 acres of the land to John Askell Bucknall of Oxhey, Hertfordshire, inheritor of the manor estate; 212 acres to the Vicar of Bishops Itchington for his glebe land and in lieu of tithes; 279 acres shared between Edmund Makepeace a local solicitor, Francis Fauquier Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Godolphin Rooper of Berkhamstead Castle and the near bankrupt James Newsham Craggs of Chadshunt Hall, who lived in London. Thus 78% of the land was in the hands of 6 absentee landlords. The remaining land was allotted to 8 local men including two farms of just over 100 acres to Thomas Burdon and Thomas Garrett, whose families had been in the village since at least the early 17th century.

In the following decades, much of Gaydon continued to be in the hands of absentee landlords. The manor estate (Manor Farm, Castle Farm and Ireland Farm) passed from the Bucknalls to the Phillimore family in about 1789. However, they were preoccupied with the development of their much larger Kensington and Hertfordshire Estates and between 1862 and 1863 Edward Brough Phillimore sold off the three farms.

The first of the Bolton King family, who were to make big changes in Gaydon and Chadshunt through Victorian times, was Edward Bolton King. He married Georgiana Knight, heiress of the Chadshunt Estate in 1828 and had moved to Chadshunt by 1845. He bought up farms in Gaydon over the next few decades including Gaydon Farm (1845), Upper Farm (1846), Manor Farm and Ireland Farm (1862) and a small farm on Church Lane (Oak Beams and Barnfield; 1863).

Between 1852 and 1853 the old medieval church building was replaced with the current one in the gothic revival style. It was designed by Leamington architect Daniel Goodman Squirhill and built by William Ballard at a cost of over a thousand pounds. The largest donation of £500 and the churchyard land was provided by Edward Bolton King and a grant was obtained from the Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement Building and Repairing of Churches and Chapels, on condition that 136 free seats were provided for the poor of the parish. The foundation stone was laid in April 1852 and the new building and churchyard were consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester in July 1853. The stained glass East window was installed in memory of Edward Bolton King following his death in 1878.

Bolton King Window

A National School was erected and supported by Edward Bolton King (sometime between 1851 and 1861) to accommodate about 40 pupils. Following its closure in the 1970s and subsequent conversion into a dwelling it was recently replaced by a larger house.

Edward Bolton King's elder son Edward Raleigh Bolton King inherited the Chadshunt and Gaydon Estate in 1878 and added Poplars Farm and its land to it in 1884.

Bolton King, the younger son of Edward Bolton King, was very influential in his efforts to improve the lot of the agricultural labourer. He gave Gaydon its village hall and adjoining caretaker's cottage in 1878 - initially as a men's club and reading room - "to elevate the villagers to a better sense of their duty to God, their neighbours and themselves". He also built 13 cottages on Banbury Road between 1883 and 1886 (1 detached for himself, 4 pairs and a block of 4) which he rented to villagers as well as allotments on the field behind.

In 1879 the ecclesiastical parish was separated from Bishops Itchington and became the parish of Gaydon with Chadshunt with its own Vicar. The first Vicar of Gaydon with Chadshunt was the Reverand Frederick Woodward who was in post from 1879 until his death in 1920. He was also the first occupant of the Vicarage, which was completed in 1883.

Edward Raleigh Bolton King died in 1900 and his son Ernest Raleigh Bolton King sold the Chadshunt Estate including 1,055 acres in Gaydon, comprising all the farmland south and west of the Warwick-Banbury Road, to Thomas Augustus Motion, who in turn sold the Estate to Lord Willoughby de Broke of Compton Verney in 1907. The Willoughby de Broke Gaydon property was subsequently all sold off to individual purchasers by the early 1920s.

In 1941 land in the north-west of the parish and in Lighthorne Heath was commandeered to create RAF Gaydon, a three runway airfield used to train wartime bomber crews. In the early 1950s the airfield was remodelled with one long runway for the nuclear capable V-bombers. Since closure in 1974 the airfield site has been used by the car industry by British Leyland, BMW, and subsequently Jaguar Land Rover, the Heritage Motor Centre and Aston Martin.

RAF Gaydon

Appendix C - Gaydon Flora and Fauna 2012


Gaydon village nestles close to the Burton Dassett Hills and Edge Hill where Limestone and calcareous soils predominate. Although it is surrounded by open countryside, mainly arable and grassland, there is a diverse range of species to be found. This can be attributed to the many dense hedgerows, coppices and ponds which provide corridors from adjacent woodlands at Itchington Holt, Chadshunt and the army camp (The Oaks)

The predominant tree species were once large elms, the wood being used for many of the older village houses along with the limestone blue lias.


Over the last 20 years there have been increases and declines in certain species; for example buzzards are now a common sight and wild boar, ravens and waxwings have been seen; whilst the brown hare, swallow and grey partridge are much reduced in number.

Gaydon cemetery is a noted area for butterflies being old unimproved pasture



Common: fox, badger, brown rat, grey squirrel, roe deer, yellow necked field mouse, rabbit

Less common: muntjac, fallow deer, wild boar, polecat, stoat, brown hare, weasel, hedgehogs and shrews are in decline having once been common.


Common: house sparrow, goldfinch, chaffinch, green finch, carrion crow, rook, magpie, jackdaw, pheasant, kestrel, buzzard, sparrow hawk, great spotted woodpecker, dunnock, grey heron, wren, blue tit, great tit, wood pigeon, collared dove, blackbird, song thrush; mallard, teal, Canada goose, mute swan, goldcrest, moorhen, coot; winter-redwing, fieldfare, summer-house martin, swift

Less common: raven, grey partridge, red legged partridge, green plover, (lapwing), golden plover, snipe, long tailed tit, reed bunting. woodcock, green woodpecker, short eared owl, tawny owl, little owl, yellowhammer, blackcap, cuckoo, skylark, herring gull, black headed gull.

Rare or recent invaders: bullfinch, curlew, red kite, ring necked parakeet, waxwing, corn bunting, long eared owl, marsh harrier, honey buzzard, sand martin, pochard, widgeon, land rail, great crested grebe, Eurasian kingfisher


Common: brimstone, peacock, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, meadow brown ringlet, gatekeeper, common blue, holly blue, large white, small white, green veined white, orange tip, large skipper

Less common: painted lady, small skipper, small blue, white admiral, white letter hairstreak, marbled white, clouded yellow, black hairstreak


Humming bird hawk, eyed hawk, lime hawk, puss moth, red underwing, yellow underwing, swallowtail, silver "Y", golden plusia, angle shades, herald, codling moth, dark atches, buff tip, six spot burnet, hornet clearwing, garden tiger, old lady, tussock ruby tiger

Other insects

Cockchafer, rose chafer, purple ground beetle, burying beetle, devil's coach horse, black ground beetle, dung beetle, wasp beetle, red soldier beetle, bush cricket, dragonflies (at least 12 species), large hawkers and darters, damsel flies and damoiselle flies, bumble bees (8 species), wasp, hornet, ichneumon flies, numerous small hymenopterans (ants)


Common frog, toad, great crested newt, common newt


Grass snake (common) adder (now rare)


Flowering plants

Most notable: bee orchid, early purple orchid, twyblade, salad burnette, blue scabious, knapweed, bluebell, cowslip, primrose, snowdrop, hawkbill, cow parsley


Oak, ash, hazel, hawthorn, horse chestnut, holm oak, field maple, thickets are predominantly formed by wild plum (Bullas), crab apple, blackthorn, dog rose,


parasol, field mushroom, wood blewit, boletus edulis, slippery jack, fairy ring, champignon, amethest deceiver, shaggy inkcap and many others in autumn


© 2012 JR