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Stow-on-the-Wold facts for kids

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Market Square - Stow on the Wold.jpg
Market Square
Stow-on-the-Wold is located in Gloucestershire
Population 2,042 (2011 Census)
Civil parish
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Cotswold
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district GL54
Dialling code 01451
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
  • The Cotswolds
List of places
51°55′48″N 01°43′21″W / 51.93000°N 1.72250°W / 51.93000; -1.72250

Stow-on-the-Wold is a market town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England, on top of an 800-foot (244 m) hill at the junction of main roads through the Cotswolds, including the Fosse Way (A429), which is of Roman origin. The town was founded by Norman lords to absorb trade from the roads converging there. Fairs have been held by royal charter since 1330; a horse fair is still held on the edge of the town in May and October each year.



Stow-on-the-Wold, originally called Stow St. Edward or Edwardstow after the town's patron saint Edward, probably Edward the Martyr, is said to have originated as an Iron Age fort on this defensive position on a hill. Indeed, there are many sites of similar forts in the area, and Stone Age and Bronze Age burial mounds are common throughout the area. It is likely that Maugersbury was the primary settlement of the parish before Stow was built as a marketplace on the hilltop nearer to the crossroads, to take advantage of passing trade. Originally the small settlement was controlled by abbots from the local abbey, and when the first weekly market was set up in 1107 by Henry I, he decreed that the proceeds go to Evesham Abbey.

Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold

On 21 March 1646 the last battle of the first phase of the English Civil War took place one mile north of Stow on the Wold. After initial royalist success the superiority of the parliamentary forces, overwhelmed and routed the royalist forces. Fleeing the field, the royalists fought a running fight back into the streets of Stow where the final action took place, culminating in surrender in the market square.

Popular culture

Church and churchyard
St Edward's Church

Given its exposed spot on the top of Stow Hill, the town is often referred to with the couplet "Stow on the Wold, where the winds blow cold".

"Stowe-on-the-Wold, Where the wind blows cold. Where horses young and old are sold, Where farmers come to spend their gold. Where men are fools and women are bold and many a wicked tale is told. High on the freezing Cotswold." etc.

The funeral of John Entwistle, the famous bass guitarist of the Who, was held at St Edward's Church Stow-on-the-Wold on 10 July 2002.

Stow-on-the-Wold was prominently featured in the eleventh episode of series 6 of Top Gear, when Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the Ford F-Series there. He chose to film it there because it's a typical village in the English countryside, as Jeremy compares it to the American countryside in the episode.

Transport links

Several roads link Stow to surrounding villages. Over longer distances, the Fosse Way (A429) runs from Exeter to Lincoln, the A424 from Burford into the A44 and to Evesham, and the A436 between Cheltenham and Gloucester.

From 1881 until 1962, Stow was served by Stow-on-the-Wold railway station on the Great Western Railway's Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Railway. The nearest station is now Moreton-in-Marsh, some 4 miles (6 km) from Stow on the Cotswold Line between Hereford and London Paddington. An alternative is Kingham railway station, some 5 miles (8 km) from Stow on the same line.


Scotts of Stow, a mail order company, also has two shops in the town.

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See also

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