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Stow-on-the-Wold is a delightful market town and along with Moreton in Marsh, perhaps the best known of the small Cotswolds towns.
Stow-on the-Wold stands exposed on a 700 feet high hill at a junction of seven major roads, including the Roman Fosse Way.
At the height of the Cotswold wool industry the town was famous for its huge annual fairs where as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at one time.
The vast Market Square testifies to the towns former importance. At one end stands the ancient cross, and at the other the town stocks, shaded between an old elm tree. Around the square the visitor is faced with an elegant array of Cotswold town houses.
Stow is an important shopping centre and has many fine Antique shops, Art galleries, Gifts and Crafts and is a centre for Walking the Cotswolds countryside.
William Smith - known as the father of English Geology. Born in 1769, he first learned land surveying as a young man in
Stow-on-the-Wold, a place where he became aware of contrasting
rock formation with that of his native Oxfordshire. For more information see - Radstock Museum.
In the 17th & 18th centuries Stow quickly developed as a cross roads and with the growth of the wool trade, the town prospered. Livestock (up to 20,000 sheep per day) were traded through Stow market from as far away as Wales. The town is criss-crossed by 'chures', narrow alleys formerly used to drive and count sheep to the The Square on Market Days.
It is believed that the word 'chure' is a corruption of the original true word - 'TURE'.
THE BATTLE OF STOW - 1646
A major battle was fought in Stow-on-the-Wold. Fighting continued into the Square and local legend tells that blood flowed down Digbeth Street such was the slaughter. Fighting in the town ended with the capture of the remains of the Royalist Army.
For further information see - Battle of Stow.
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The Market Town of Stow-on-the-Wold
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