Ancient and historic Stow on-the Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds standing 800 feet above sea level.
One of the historic Cotswold buildings in Stow on the Wold is the church of St Edward.The church is primarily a product of the 11th century with later additions in the 15th century. Quite apart from the lovely architecture, the church has a significant historical connection with the Battle of Stow on the Wold. The battle was the final conflict of the English Civil War.
Seeing this church door flanked by the ancient Yew trees is what first drew me to making Stow on the Wold a must see town in the Cotswolds. Here’s the inside photo of this great door.
The 88ft high 4-stage tower, completed in 1447, is a conspicuous landmark with an embattled parapet with pinnacles and a string course with gargoyles.
In 1646 a Royalist army marched through the Cotswolds in a desperate attempt to join up with King Charles at Oxford. They were finally confronted at Stow on the Wold by a Parliamentary force. The fighting was fierce and deadly. The Royalists were defeated and over 1000 imprisoned within the church.
We made a quick stop in this town on our trip in September of 2013, this time we stopped for a longer stay and enjoyed spending some time inside the church of St. Edward.
This portion of 1 Chronicles 16 was sculpted from Cotswold Stone
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice:
and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof:
let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord,
When we were done inside the church we walked around this small market town and enjoyed visiting some of the shops.
The Kings Arms on the market square hosted King Charles I before the Battle of Naseby in 1645.
It’s amazing to think these buildings have been standing for so long. I’m always blown away by the history in the places we visit in England.
Travel Tips for Stow-on-the-Wold. The market square has free two hour parking but when your two hours are up you have to move your car out of the square and find parking at other lots close by. The Fosseway long term parking near Tesco is said to have free parking. When you see “no returns” that means you can’t just change the spot your car is parked in. There is a good variety of shops and places to eat in Stow. We strolled through a few “thrift” stores in town which usually have names like Oxfam, Blue Cross, and others that benefit Hospice care or heart research, etc.
13 thoughts on “Stow ~ The Church of St. Edward”
Beautiful. The outside of the doors looks something out of a children’s fairy tale book!
That yew-flanked door is forever nicknamed in my mind “the Hobbit door” ever since I first saw it in person a few years ago. It just looks like it belongs in Tolkien’s novel to me. And it seemed very short by today’s height standards, at least from the outside. Very charming. I like the bits of history you have included about the church.
Exactly what I was thinking! And the view of the inside of the great door — a “Great” door indeed, in both senses of the word. xoxo
That is a wonderful door with those ancient yews…how long do they live? Hopefully, as long as olive trees. The parking doesn’t sound ideal, but perhaps is fair???
What a phenomenal entryway!!! Oh, my gosh! I would love to have a house with an entryway like that! I would fancy myself Sleeping Beauty or Gretel or some other fairy tale character on a daily basis!!! The inside of the church is just magical, too. So, so pretty. I can only imagine the beautiful baptisms and weddings and other such events that could be held there!!!
It is amazing to think of buildings that have been around for so long, when here in America, if something is a couple hundred years old, we think it is old! It’s all perspective, isn’t it?
What a beautiful and historical church. Can’t imagine it’s been so well preserved for so many centuries. The next time I visit England, the Cotswolds is a must see. Thanks for intro. me to a wonderful place through your posts, Ellen.
So, so beautiful Ellen! Thanks for sharing this amazing part of history with us.
What a charming church. Were you able to attend any services in any of the historical churches while you were there?
Not this time around, Wendy. It never worked out that we were at the right place at the right time…
In the past we have really enjoyed attending evensong in some beautiful cathedrals.
You have convinced me that seeing this church is a must when we visit England again one day.
Here’s a knee slapper about historic old churches then and now:
When folks here take a tour of temple square the LDS missionary guides breathlessly explain that the huge “Temple” was built entirely with hand tools; NO power tools were used AT ALL!
The tour groups reaction to this astonishing fact depends greatly on where they came from. Many west coast Americans consider this a unique miraculous detail, east coast/Europe/UK roll their eyes and mutter amongst themselves.
I so enjoyed reading this love the yew trees at the door, beautiful church too, We intend to visit The Cotswolds next year so that is a definite ‘must visit place’, thanks for sharing,
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