Stowe Nine Churches

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Stowe Nine Churches is a civil parish incorporating the settlements of Church Stowe and Upper Stowe in the English county of Northamptonshire.


'Stowe' is a common English place-name, hence this was distinguished from others of the same name by the addition of the descriptor 'Nine Churches'. In former times the lord of the manor had within his gift the appointment of the rectors of nine different churches.[1]


Forming part of Daventry district it is often referred to as Stowe IX Churches.

Population from 2001 census is 248.


Experimental evidence for the principles of radar[edit]

Heyford RAF bomber

It was in Upper Stowe, about three miles south of Weedon Bec, that the principles of radar were first found to be a practical possibility, and not just a theoretical proposal. On the evening of 25 February 1935, radio wave detection equipment, including an oscilloscope, was brought from the National Physical Laboratory (via the A5) in an old ambulance to a field close to the village. The field was just off the road (Welsh Lane - former B4525) between Litchborough and Bugbrooke, about 400 metres from the A5 and close to the Daventry district and South Northamptonshire boundary..

Arnold Frederic Wilkins OBE and an assistant prepared the equipment, which was to listen-in for any extraneous radio waves (interference) on the BBC's wavelength of 49 metres as a plane flew overhead. In the early morning (Tuesday 26 February), the Handley Page Heyford (a biplane) K6902 took off from RAE Farnborough and climbed to 6,000ft, being piloted by Flt Lt Robert Blucke (1897-1988). The Heyford was probably the largest aircraft the RAF had at the time. The radio signals to be tested came from the Marconi/BBC transmitter at Borough Hill two miles to the north-west.

Principles of radar

The oscilloscope detected that there was disturbance in the amount of electromagnetic energy being received on the BBC's wavelength when the plane flew overhead, and thus radio waves could detect the presence of aircraft, and the approximate navigational position. The aircraft's position was tracked up to a distance of eight miles.

The pilot, Bobby Blucke, would later become Air Vice-Marshal Blucke CB CBE. He was in charge of Blind Approach Training in 1939 and commanded No. 1 Group RAF in 1945. He died on 2 October 1988.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°13′N 1°04′W / 52.21°N 1.06°W / 52.21; -1.06