Visit Adlestrop, Stow on the Wold
Adlestrop is located 3 miles East of Stow on the Wold. This small village is clustered on the edge of parkland & trees that climb the hills to the east. A collection of workers cottages located in the cul-de-sac opposite the church along with a little main street that leads out of the village to the modern community hall. This peaceful village seems undisturbed by tourism & still retains a little thatched post office which opens for a few hours each week. Whilst in the village, pop into the church & you will see the memorials to the Leigh family. Their presence reminds us of the link between the village & Jane Austen. Jane would visit her uncle, Theophilus Leigh, the local vicar, who lived at the village rectory. You will glean a fine view of the building, Adlestrop House from the church yard. Ironically, Jane Austin used to refer to her relatives in Adlestrop as her 'poor relations' however the impressive 17thC building is far from what we would consider to be somewhere anyone 'poor' would reside! Jane would often observe her relatives, their colourful lifestyles & inheritance problems would often come through in her novels. It is also believed that the manor house located in the this village 'Adlestrop Park' (not open to the public, helped form the description of 'Mansfield Park' in the novel by the same name. Adlestrop Park is modest mansion, dating back to the 16thC
Another famous writer, or indeed a poet is memorialised in this village. Edward Thomas highly evocative poem described life, which seems to have hardly changed since he penned this verse a little over hundred years ago, a steam train carrying an unknown poet made an unscheduled stop in this village. Edward Thomas, aged 36 and bereft of inspiration, dutifully jotted the details of this fleeting non-event into his notebook, and from them fashioned a poem that has become one of the nation’s favourites, unfortunately, Edward never saw his verse in print, dying in France during the First World War. The train station in Adlestrop was lost in the middle of the 20thC as part of the 'beeching cuts', the removal of many rural railway stations across England. However the railway station bench & sign, now adorn the village bus shelter, where you will also find a plaque with Edward Thomas' poem.
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
Edward Thomas 1878-1917
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