This small Gloucestershire village deep in the heart of the Cotswolds is renowned for its surrounding countryside and fine walks. Situated off the main A436 road between Stow-on-the-Wold and "The Greedy Goose" near Salford, Oxfordshire, it is a geographically isolated community, with the village post office near the church being the main source of provisions and physical communication. Adlestrop's cricket club plays at Adlestrop Park.
The novelist Jane Austen visited Adlestrop House, formerly the rectory, at least three times between 1794 and 1806, when the occupant was Rev. Thomas Leigh, her mother's cousin. She is thought to have drawn inspiration from the village and its surroundings for her novel Mansfield Park.
Adlestrop was immortalised by Edward Thomas's poem "Adlestrop" which was first published in 1917. The poem describes an uneventful journey that Thomas took on 24 June 1914 on the Oxford to Worcester express; the train made an unscheduled stop at Adlestrop railway station. He did not alight from the train, but describes a moment of calm pause in which he hears "all the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire". The station closed in 1966; however, the village bus shelter contains the station sign and a bench that was originally on the platform. A plaque on the bench quotes Thomas’s 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
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.
The five bells of the church of St. Mary were last all rung together in about 1975. The bells lay unrung completely until 2007, when two local couples wishing to marry asked for bells to be rung at their weddings. The bells are:
- Treble (smallest bell), note F: cast in 1711 by Abraham Rudhall (Gloucester)
- 2nd bell, note E flat: cast in 1711 by Abraham Rudhall
- 3rd bell, note D: cast in 1711 by Abraham Rudhall
- 4th bell, note C: cast in 1711 by Abraham Rudhall
- Tenor (largest bell), note B flat (but cracked and toneless): cast in 1838 by Thomas Mears (Gloucester).
The Adlestrop bells are hung in the traditional English fashion. As well as the cracked tenor bell, however, the bell-frame is time expired and suffers from dry rot and woodworm infestation, and the remaining uncracked bells may be rung only very cautiously. The bells are officially listed as "unringable". An appeal, to re-hang the bells and make them fully ringable once more, has been launched.
Site of Adlestrop railway station
- Harvey, Anne (compiler & editor) (1999) Adlestrop Revisited: an Anthology Inspired by Edward Thomas's Poem, Stroud: Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-2289-3
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Adlestrop.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adlestrop.|
- Adlestrop and the Cotswolds
- Adlestrop Rectory
- St. Mary Magdalene Church, Adlestrop
- Adlestrop visited by Joseph Gelfer
- 'Parishes: Adlestrop', A History of the County of Gloucester: volume 6 (1965), pp. 8-16.
- Adlestrop at genuki
- Adlestrop in the Domesday Book