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Stanton Harcourt

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Care of the Tradition

Stanton Harcourt Peacock
The Harcourt Peacock - requested by the family to be included with the Harcourt Arms shield

The Stanton Harcourt tradition is currently under the care of the Side.  We offer demonstrations and instructionals.

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The Side as Stanton Harcourt MorrisHarcourt Arms

Stanton Harcourt Side

We are current keepers of the Stanton Harcourt tradition and we sometimes dance out as Stanton Harcourt Morris.

Stanton Harcourt Morris has a colourful and interesting background. Although nearby Eynsham is renowned for its history of morris dancing, the village of Stanton Harcourt also had its own team of dancers active until the mid 19th century.

The dances were discovered by Thomas Carter who reported them to the Oxfordshire folklorist Percy Manning after interviewing one of the old Stanton Harcourt dancers, Joseph Goodlake (1836 - 1901) when he was 63.  Further information comes from a manuscript believed to have been written by Juliet Williams, a friend of the collector Clive Carey, although the source for this material is unknown.

Joseph Goodlake was one of 14 children born to Sutton publican George Goodlake, and his brothers were possibly fellow dancers.  The main Stanton Harcourt 'man of the morris' however, was John Potter (1813 - 1892) who played the pipe & tabor (also fiddle) for the morris all over Oxfordshire. Potter was also a resident of Sutton and his skill with the pipe was legendary. ("He could almost make un speak!").  He is buried in the churchyard of St. Michael.

Sem SeaborneSome 9 dances have been reconstructed from the source material; 5 using sticks, 3 handclapping and 1 handkerchief dance. 

Stanton Harcourt is unusual in having predominately stick dances, since they were not taken up by surrounding villages who stayed true to the older handkerchief dances.  The dances are also unusual in that they commence with an inward facing set.

The Stanton Harcourt dances were performed by members of the Icknield Way Morris Men who are currently keepers of the tradition.

The last performance at the Manor of a Stanton Harcourt Side was some 140 years ago. The reformed Stanton Harcourt Side gave its its first performance at Stanton Harcourt Manor on Sunday, July 9th 2000.

Stanton Harcourt Kit
Harcourt Arms Shield

Harcourt Arms

Stanton Harcourt Kit
  • White shirt (with red/yellow ribbons on the shoulders), white trousers, black shoes
  • Red/Gold Baldricks
  • Harcourt Arms Shield
  • Bell pads with yellow and blue ribbons

 

 
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