Settrington used to be a village where the economy was largely based on agriculture. There were at least 8 farms within the village and most of the housing was intended for those employed in agriculture or its ancillary services. Times have, however, changed and there are now 2 farms in the village, the tied cottages have been sold and are now occupied by people who work elsewhere. The village is lucky enough to have a village school which flourishes, a chapel and a church, but the shops and trades such as Blacksmith and Tailor have all disappeared.
When Francis Johnson completed his report on Settrington in 1984, he was able to write “it is still an intact 18th century estate village”. We have already noted that K J Allison had written similarly in 1976 when he suggested it was one of the best of its kind in the riding.
Both writers admired Settrington’s beauty in its quiet setting with sheltering hills on the east and a clear running brook flowing through. Francis Johnson, however, warned that many of its other important qualities were fragile and, although damage was already evident, he thought it not advanced too far to prevent a halt and to, perhaps, begin to pursue a policy of reclamation. Above all, protection was vital.
When the Johnson Report first appeared it did not have the wholehearted support of all the village residents. Only a few years passed before the situation changed and many of the fiercest critics became the most enthusiastic supporters. The report “opened the eyes” of many people living in the village at the time, helping villagers to appreciate the finer points of those features which combine to make Settrington the attractive village it is.
This enthusiasm continues to grow which is one of the reasons why the villagers have embarked on this Village Design Statement which, it is hoped, will give their wishes greater force.