Stoke Row, Oxfordshire
Stoke Row shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||625 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Stoke Row|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Stoke Row was historically a hamlet divided between the ancient parishes, and later civil parishes, of Ipsden, Newnham Murren and Mongewell. It became a chapelry in 1849. From 1932 it was divided between Ipsden and Crowmarsh (into which Newnham Murren and Mongewell were merged) In 1952 Stoke Row was created a new civil parish.
The Church of England parish church of Saint John the Evangelist was built in 1846. It was designed in 13th century style by the architect R.C. Hussey. St. John the Evangelist parish is now a member of The Langtree Team Ministry: a Church of England benefice that includes also the parishes of Checkendon, Ipsden, North Stoke, Whitchurch-on-Thames and Woodcote.
Stoke Row Independent Chapel
Stoke Row Independent Chapel was built in 1815, although there had been a history of Dissenters meeting in the village since 1691. At that time they gathered in the drawing room of a local farmhouse.
In the early years services were conducted by visiting ministers or licensed lay preachers, but in 1955 a wealthy local farmer, who had been a lifelong strong supporter, bequeathed a large piece of land opposite the Chapel and on this houses were built. The resulting finance enabled a house to be built for the Minister and for Chapel modernisation, including modern heating and the provision of a kitchen and toilets. A trust was also established and this still provides for the upkeep of the exterior of both buildings.
In 1978 Padre Bernard Railton Bax took over the ministry and, together with his wife Yvonne, brought great life and warmth to the Chapel. His work was continued, after his death in 1990, by Rev John Harrington and his wife Nina. Mrs Harrington died in 1996 and Rev Harrington retired at the age of 87, after thirteen years of service.
The Chapel has always been independent, but it has neighbourly links with the local Church of England parish church of St John the Evangelist. There was once a move to integrate with the Congregational Church, but the plan did not materialise. The Chapel has an ecumenical attitude and residential Ministers in recent years have included a Baptist and several from a United Reformed Church background.
Today Stoke Row Chapel has a warm and welcoming congregation of about 80 members and around 35 attend on a regular basis. The Chapel has an active choir which sings every week. A Sunday School had been thriving until quite recently. Since the retirement of Rev Harrington the Chapel has been served by Rev David Holmwood and his wife Trish. The Salvation Army and other charities provide lay speakers once a month. The current ministers are Revs David and Sonia Jackson.
The chapel keeps to the core values of worship and praise but also endeavours to serve the local community on an individual and collective basis. A home-based Bible Study Group and a Social Club that meets once a month, as well as visits made to the sick and housebound, are part of this work. The Chapel Council maintains a dignified but friendly atmosphere.
- 1959 - 1965: Pastor Ernest Dickerson
- 1967 - 1972: Rev John Potts
- 1973 - 1975: Rev Arthur Tilling
- 1977 - 1990: Rev Padre Bernard Railton Bax
- 1990 - 2004: Rev John Harrington
- 2004 - 2010: Rev David Holmwood
- 2010–present: Revs David and Sonia Jackson
Edward Anderdon Reade, the local squire at Ipsden, had worked with the Maharajah of Benares in India in the mid nineteenth century. He had sunk a well in 1831 to aid the community in Azimgurgh. Reade left the area in 1860.
A couple of years later the Maharajah decided on an endowment in England. Recalling Mr Reade’s generosity in 1831 and also his stories of water deprivation in his home area of Ipsden the Maharajah commissioned the well at Stoke Row and it was sunk in 1863. The originally intended site for the well was Nuffield Common. All work was completed by the Wallingford firm of R. J. and H. Wilder.
The Crooked Billet, a free house, was built in 1642 and is reputed to have once been the hideout of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, who was alleged to have been romantically attached to the landlord's daughter, Bess. It was England's first gastropub and was the venue for Titanic star Kate Winslet's wedding reception. In June 1989, the British progressive rock band Marillion played their first performance with Steve Hogarth as frontman at the Crooked Billet, and a documentary DVD entitled From Stoke Row To Ipanema - A Year In The Life was subsequently produced.
In the 1851 census the head of the household at No 1 Stoke Row was George Hope, who built "The Hope" public house. This was later known as "The Farmer" and today is known as Farmer's Cottage, located on the corner of Main Street with Nottwood Lane.
- "Area selected: South Oxfordshire (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Watts, Victor, ed. (2010), "Stoke Row", The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Cambridge University Press, pp. 510, 577
- John Marius Wilson (1870-72), Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales in Vision of Britain
- Vision of Britain: Crowmarsh CP
- Vision of Britain: Stoke Row CP
- Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 789
- The Langtree Team Ministry
- Stoke Row: History
- Williamson, 1983
- Cherry Tree Inn
- The Crooked Billet
- "Steve Hogarth's first Marillion Gig / The Crooked Billet at http://www.btinternet.com/~europeans". Archived from the original on 2012-06-05.[dead link]
- "Stoke Row Census Return 1851" at oldplace.free-online.co.uk
- Stoke Row Church of England Primary School
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 789. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- Spencer-Harper, Angela (1999). Dipping into the Wells: The Story of the Two Chiltern Villages of Stoke Row and Highmoor Seen Through the Lives of Their Inhabitants. Witney: Robert Boyd Publications. ISBN 1-899536-35-3.
- Williamson, L.D. (1983). An Illustrated History of The Maharajah's Well. Stoke Row: The Maharajah's Well Trust.
Media related to Stoke Row, Oxfordshire at Wikimedia Commons