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Adlestrop Church - - 901029.jpg
St Mary Magdalene, Adlestrop
Grid reference: SP243270
Location: 51°56’29"N, 1°38’50"W
Local Government
Council: Cotswold

Adlestrop is a village in Gloucestershire famous for a moment in time recorded by Edward Thomas in his poem ‘Adlestrop’. It is on the railway line between Oxford and Worcester, though the station at which Edward Thomas stopped is now closed. The 2011 census recorded a population of 120.

This is a small village, deep in the heart of the Cotswolds, renowned for its surrounding countryside and fine walks. It ids found off the main A436 road between Stow-on-the-Wold and "The Greedy Goose" near Salford, Oxfordshire, it is a geographically isolated community, with the village post office near the church being the main source of provisions and physical communication.


In past records the village appears as Titlestrop and Edestrop. It is recorded as Tedestrop in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name is believed to be from the Old English Adles þorp, meaning "Adel’s village", after an otherwise unknown landowner, in which the suffix thorp has over time become "trop".[1]

Parish church

The parish church is St Mary Magdalene, standing at the south edge of the village.

The church has a peal of five bells which were last all rung together in about 1975. The bells lay unrung completely until 2007, when two local couples wishing to marry asked for bells to be rung at their weddings. The bells, form treble to tenor, are hung in the traditional fashion. Over the years, the bell-frame became time expired, as it suffered from dry rot and woodworm infestation. Even the four uncracked bells could be rung only very cautiously and were officially listed as "unringable". Following a successful appeal to re-hang the bells and make them fully ringable, the restored bells and frame were rung once again in May 2016.[2]

Literary associations

Adlestrop bus shelter with the station sign

The novelist Jane Austen visited Adlestrop House, formerly the rectory, at least three times between 1794 and 1806, when the occupant was Rev. Thomas Leigh, her mother's cousin. She is thought to have drawn inspiration from the village and its surroundings for her novel Mansfield Park.[3]

Adlestrop is immortalised by Edward Thomas's poem "Adlestrop", which was first published in 1917. The poem describes an uneventful journey that Thomas took on 24 June 1914 on the Oxford to Worcester express; the train made a scheduled stop at Adlestrop railway station. He did not alight from the train, but describes a moment of calm pause in which he hears "all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire". The station closed in 1966; however, the village bus shelter contains the station sign and a bench that was originally on the platform. A plaque on the bench quotes Thomas’s poem. These are the only things that remain of the original station.[4]


Yes. I remember Adlestrop
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat, the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Sport and leisure

Adlestrop's cricket club plays at Adlestrop Park.


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Adlestrop)


  1. Reaney, P. H. (1980). The Origin of English Place-Names. Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp. 174. 
  2. Dedication service to celebrate success of St Mary Magdalene Adlestrop church bell project: The Hereford Times 26 July 2016
  3. Adlestrop, Gloucestershire: pictures on Astoft]
  4. 100 Years Ago A Train Stopped at Adlestrop Station: Adlestrop village
  • Harvey, Anne (compiler & editor) 'Adlestrop Revisited: an Anthology Inspired by Edward Thomas's Poem' (Sutton Publishing, 1999) ISBN 0-7509-2289-3
  • Huxley, Victoria: 'Jane Austen & Adlestrop: Her Other Family' (Windrush Publishing, 2013) ISBN 978-0-9575150-2-4