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Shipston High Street
Shipston-on-Stour shown within Warwickshire
|Population||4,456 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|Website||Shipston-on-Stour Town Council|
Shipston-on-Stour is a town and civil parish on the River Stour about 10 miles (16 km) south of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. It is in the northern part of the Cotswolds, close to the boundaries with Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
In the 8th century the Toponym was Scepwaeisctune, Old English for Sheep-wash-Town, as it was once an important sheep market. The name evolved through Scepwestun in the 11th century, Sipestone, Sepwestun and Schipton in the 13th century and Sepestonon-Sture in the 14th century.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Edmund has a 15th-century tower. The Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street rebuilt the rest of the church in 1855. The tower had a ring of five bells until 1695 when they were recast and rehung as a ring of six. Since then all the bells have been recast and rehung from time to time, notably in 1754 and by John Taylor & Co. in 1979.
Shipston is on the A3400 road (formerly the A34) between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford and was once an important staging place for stagecoaches. Many former coaching inns, such as the Coach and Horses, remain in the area of the High Street.
Following a fall in the demand for local wool, the local economy was in part sustained by the opening in 1836 of a branch line running from the horse-drawn Stratford and Moreton Tramway, built ten years before and linking Moreton-in-Marsh with Stratford. In 1889 the line was upgraded to allow the operation of steam trains from Moreton to Shipston. Passenger services to the town were withdrawn in 1929 and the line closed completely in 1960.
Shipston was in an exclave of the Oswaldslow Hundred of Worcestershire until 1931, when it was transferred to Warwickshire. Until the 1974 local government reorganisation it was the seat of the Shipston-on-Stour Rural District.
Notable people born in Shipston include the actor Richard Morant and the 19th-century archaeologist Francis Haverfield. The town was commemorated by Robin Gibb in his song "Cold Be My Days", which was not released until 2015 although recorded in 1970 for the unfinished album Sing Slowly Sisters. The words "Cold be my days in Shipston-on-Stour" appear several times. He stated in a BBC Radio 4 interview in May 2007 that this relates to his youthful experiences, riding horses with his brother Barry. Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin lived in Ilmington near to Shipston-on-Stour, and died at her home there in 1994.
- Victoria County History 1913, pp. 521–524
- Pevsner & Wedgwood 1966, p. 395
- Chester, Mike. "Shipston on Stour St Edmund". Church Bells of Warwickshire.
- "Coach and Horses in Shipston-on-Stour". Find a Hook Norton Pub. 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- Shipston Excelsior FC
- Shipston Tennis Club
- Shipston on Stour and District Angling Club
- RFU Midlands 3 West League Table
- Shipston-on-Stour Town Band
- Lost Albums: Sing Slowly Sisters (BBC4 documentary.) The song "Cold Be My Days" in connection to Shipston-on-Stour is mentioned, at 15:16.
- Allen, Geoff (2000). Warwickshire: Towns and Villages. Towns & villages of Britain. Sigma Leisure. ISBN 1-85058-642-X.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Wedgwood, Alexandra (1966). Warwickshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 395–396.
- "Shipston-on-Stour". A History of the County of Worcester, Volume 3. Victoria County History. London. 1913. pp. 521–524.