Stow-on-the-Wold is a delightful market town (population circa. 2000) and along with Moreton in Marsh, perhaps the best known of the small Cotswolds towns.
Stow-on the-Wold is the highest of the Cotswold towns standing exposed on 800 feet high Stow 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 and shops.
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.
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.
Top Ten Things to Do
Don't miss the Gypsy Horse Fair held biannually (May and October) on open fields just 10 minutes walk from the centre of town. For more information and history see - Gypsy Horsefair - Cotswold Blogs.
Antique Shopping - Stow is well known as an antique shopping center.
Eating Out - a wonderful choice of restaurants, bistros and tea shops to choose from including wide choice of pub food.
Wide variety of shops including boutique for everything you could require from food to high end fashion.
Cricket Museum - here can be found a truly dazzling collection of artefacts from all over the world, covering the history of the game and providing some revealing insights about some of its most illustrious cricketers. Web: www.cotswoldcricketmuseum.co.uk.
Farmers Market held in The Square on 2nd Thursday of each month, 9am to 1pm.
Visit St Edward's church - built between 11th and 15th century. Steeped in history with amazing stained glass windows.
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.