Stratton is an ancient and formerly market town in the Cornish Hundred of the same name. Now much smaller than its westerly neighbour, the seaside town of Bude. However while St Andrew's was being built and then gradually enlarged almost to its present size, the future site of Bude, with its revenue-producing harbour and salt-pans, was simply part of Stratton.
In spite of its Saxon appearance, the name is apparently of Cornish origin and refers to the small river-valley in which the town is situated.
According to the Doomsday survey, the manor was held at the time of Edward the Confessor by Alured the Marshal and by the Bishop of Exeter. This Episcopal connection, coupled with the known importance of the settlement, implies that there could well have been a church in Stratton before the Norman Conquest.
Of the Norman Church only evidence of the foundations remain although the Font is still in existence.
There could have been further extension or re-building in the 13th century but of this there is little evidence.
Crossed Legged Knight. (13th Century).
On the sill of the easternmost window of the north aisle lies a rather battered cross- legged effigy of an Armoured Knight. His right hand grasping the hilt of his sheathed sword. This figure is traditionally (and not unreasonably) associated with the Blanchminster family which originated from Whitchurch in Shropshire and which first appears holding a knights fee in Stratton in the early years of the 13th century; the family's local residence was at Bien Aimee, now the moated site at Binhamy Farm on the outskirts of Bude. The figure's style is too early for it to be the monument to the Sir Ralph de Blanchminster whose will provided for the building of the north aisle in the 14th century. His father Sir Reginald, who had died not long before 1277, is a much more likely subject, while his Grandfather, another Sir Ralph who had died only a few years earlier, is also a possibility.
The North Aisle of the church was under construction in the middle years of the 14th century. Sir Ralph de Blanchminster died in 1348; in his will he bequeathed ten marks "to the fabric of one aisle of the Church of St Andrew of Stratton on the north side". He also bequeathed "All the timber competent and sufficient to the same fabric".
There is a Priest's Door just to the east of the rood loft stair- turret. It is typically Tudor in form and now has been blocked and converted into a niche.
Also from the Tudor period are the ceilings of the entire building. These are good examples of the typical Cornish late medieval wagon ceiling and were certainly in position before the 1530's.
Also in the mid 1530's a rood screen with loft above was erected across the whole width of the church at considerable expense. These replaced an earlier screen and loft which was sold when the new one was installed.
Immediately to the west of the screen, one at each end were two more altars. of these one was dedicated to the Visitation of Our Lady, and the other to St Armyll. a Celtic saint of whom, as is with many of his brethren, virtually nothing is known.
The people of Stratton were very proud of their new rood screen and loft; accounts from the third quarter of the 16th century reflect their struggles to retain it. in 1548 an order was made for the removal of all rood figures as being idolatrous. This at Stratton were taken down in that year but soon replaced as in 1549 the year armed rebellion in the West Country against the new book of common prayer, they were back in position. In 1561 lofts were declared illegal, but the screens were specifically ordered to be retained. The Stratton loft was not removed until 1573 after a long struggle with the Bishop of Exeter; the screen was finally destroyed in 1580.
There is also a 16th century Memorial Brass, still in its original stone matrix, to Sir John Arundel of Trerice who died in 1561. This was formerly the top of an altar tomb at the east end of the south aisle; it has been relegated to a somewhat undignified position standing upright against the west wall of this aisle. Sir John is shown in the full armour of the period between his two successive wives accompanied by their children (one missing) and shields of arms (two missing). The Arundel family for many years held the manor at Efford, on the western side of the parish.
Major restoration work was carried out in 1888