The Village of Stowe

The village of Stowe can be found in Buckinghamshire and was probably very significant in Anglo-Saxon times. It is known that the village was here long before the William the Conqueror arrived in England and in 1086 the Domesday Book showed that the half-brother of William was the feudal overlord of the manor. Odo was the Bishop of Bayeux and he counted both Robert D’Oyly and Roger D’Ivry among the tenants.

Robert D’Oyly is famous for building the castle at Oxford and together with D’Ivry, he founded a college there for canons. The manor of Stowe then fell under the ownership of the college. A royal charter in 1130 from Henry I confirmed the change of ownership.

The college had merged with Osney Abbey in 1150 and it remained so until Henry VIII chose to dissolve the monasteries in the 16th century. Osney Abbey became the first cathedral of Oxford. In 1590, Elizabeth I took ownership of Stowe but the lands and the manor house of the same name were sold to the Temple family.

The parish church has been in place there since the early part of the 12th century and it is a great place for visitors to explore as it reflects so much of the history of the village as well as the church itself.

Stowe House can be found just outside the village and it was originally home to dukes, but it now serves as a school. Visitors are welcome to the house at certain times of the year and the National Trust runs the gardens and parkland, which are beautiful and open all year round – with free entry to members.