Stowe, Buckinghamshire

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Saint Mary's Church, Stowe - Buckinghamshire, England - DSC07257.jpg
Parish church of the
Assumption of the Blessèd Virgin Mary
Grid reference: SP6836
Location: 52°1’5"N, 1°1’1"W
Population: 886  (2011[1])
Post town: Buckingham
Postcode: MK18
Dialling code: 01280
Local Government
Council: Aylesbury Vale

Stowe is a parish and former village in Buckinghamshire about two miles north-west of Buckingham. The parish includes the hamlets of Boycott (a detached part of Oxfordshire), Dadford and Lamport.

Stowe House is a Grade-I-listed country house in the parish and is occupied by Stowe School.


Stowe's toponym probably refers to an ancient holy place of great significance in Anglo-Saxon times.[2] The manor of Stowe predates the Norman conquest.[3] The Domesday Book of 1086 assessed the manor at five hides.[3] It listed William the Conqueror's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux as the manor's feudal overlord and the Norman brothers-in-arms Robert D'Oyly and Roger d'Ivry as his tenants.[3] D'Oyly founded Oxford Castle and he and d'Ivry founded a college of secular canons there.[3] Not long after 1086 the manor of Stowe was transferred to the college's endowment, confirmed by a charter of Henry I in 1130.[3]

By 1150 the Augustinians of Osney Abbey had absorbed the college, and in 1278–79 it held three hides at Stowe.[3] Osney Abbey retained Stowe until it was forced to surrender its estates to the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.[3] In 1542 the Diocese of Oxford was instituted and Osney Abbey was consecrated as its first cathedral.[3] The abbey's former estates, including Stowe, formed the bishopric's endowment.[3]

In 1590 John Underhill, Bishop of Oxford conveyed Stowe to Elizabeth I, who in the same year granted it to new secular owners.[3] They sold it to John Temple of Burton Dasset in Warwickshire, whose grandson Sir Peter Temple, 2nd Baronet enclosed a deer park in 1651.[3] The village was probably abandoned at this time. The estate remained with the Temple-Grenville family until 1921, when it was sold by the Reverend Luis C.F.T. Morgan-Grenville (1889–1944).[3] Stowe School was founded here in 1923.

Parish church

The earliest mention of the parish church of the Assumption of the Blessèd Virgin Mary[4] is in Henry I's charter of 1130.[3] The oldest part of the building is the late-13th-century three-bay arcade between the nave and the north aisle.[3] The west tower was added in the first half of the 13th century, followed by the chancel in about 1350 and the south aisle and arcade in the latter part of the 14th century.[3] Late in the 15th century both aisles were rebuilt and the Perpendicular Gothic nave clerestory and south porch were added.[3] In the 16th century the Perpendicular Gothic north chapel was added, with an arcade of two bays between it and the chancel.[3] The church was altered in the 18th century and is now a Grade-II* listed building.[5]

In the late 17th century a ring of five bells was hung in the bell tower.[3] James Keene, who had foundries at Woodstock in Oxfordshire and Bedford,[6] cast the second, fourth and fifth bells in 1654.[7] Richard Keene cast the third bell in 1660 and the tenor in 1665.[7] In 1988 John Taylor & Co of Loughborough cast a new treble bell, increasing the ring to six.[7] The church has a Sanctus bell that was cast in about 1799.[7]

Stowe House

Main article: Stowe House

Formerly the country seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, Stowe House is now occupied by Stowe School. The landscaped gardens and its many monuments were acquired by the National Trust in 1990, and are open to the public. The National Trust is overseeing a restoration programme of the grounds, temples and follies.

Stowe in film

Because of its picturesque surroundings Stowe has been the setting for many films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Bollywood film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Proof of Life, Stardust (2007), and The World Is Not Enough in the James Bond series.


Sources and further reading

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Stowe, Buckinghamshire)