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Stow-on-the-Wold is a town in the North Cotswolds in England.


St Edward's Church
Battle of Stow

The town is on a hill (highest point in the Cotswolds at 244 m) and back to Iron Ages times, the site was used as a fort. The first settlers were attracted to the nearby village of Maugersbury. However, once a market place was built at Stow nearer the crossroads roads, its commercial successes gradually established as the major town. Stow is at the meeting place of 6 roads helping the development of the market and thus the town; one of those roads being the famous Roman road – the Fosse Way.

During the English Civil War, in 1646 the Royalist Army was marching through the Cotswolds trying to reach Oxford to join the King's forces. However, they were met by the Parliamentary forces just outside Stow and The Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold took place 1 mile N of the town. The retreating Royalist forces moved back to the town and fought on through the streets of Stow before surrendering in the Market Place. The church was then turned into an emergency prison to hold the 1000 Royalist troops.

Weekly markets were granted in 1107 and the right to hold an annual (7 day) fair granted in 1330 (though that was changed to two 5 day fairs in 1476). The wool trade and sheep livestock used to play a major role in the fairs, but as the wool trade declined, so horse trading became more important and today the fairs have been moved from the Market Place to a field outside the village near Maugersbury. The fairs are very popular attracting large numbers of visitors, blocking roads in the area. The large number of visitors has not always been welcomed by locals and many shops and pubs in the area close during the fairs to avoid the risk of theft and vandalism.

Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

Driving from Cirencester, follow the A429 (the Fosseway) North, pass through Bourton-on-the-Water and you'll reach it (after another 3 mi (5 km)). There will be obvious signs saying you've entered the town. From the North, follow the A429 South towards Cirencester.

By train[edit]

The town's railway station was closed in 1948. The two nearest stations are:

  • 1 Moreton-in-Marsh Railway Station, Station Rd, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AA (4½ miles N of Stow-on-the-Wold). Station managed and services operated by Great Western Railway. On the Cotswold Line running between Oxford-Hereford. Moreton-in-Marsh railway station (Q2369749) on Wikidata Moreton-in-Marsh railway station on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

By bicycle[edit]

Walkers would do well to avoid the busy A429 road.

Get around[edit]

Map of Stow-on-the-Wold

On foot'/ is fine.


Digbeth Street
Market Hall
Market Square
Cross and Sundial

The town centre, whilst small, is extremely beautiful, focused around the large market square and the pretty little streets leading off it.


  • 1 Foxholes (Woodland Reserve (23 hectare)) (6 miles SE of Stow-on-the-Wold. OS Grid ref: SP 251 204). Spectacular spring bluebells & bird life.






Go next[edit]

Routes through Stow-on-the-Wold
EveshamBroadway  W UK road A44.svg E  Chipping NortonOxford
Warwick and Leamington SpaMoreton-in-Marsh  N UK road A429.svg S  Bourton-on-the-WaterCirencester

This city travel guide to Stow-on-the-Wold is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.