St John the Evangelist parish church
|Area||6.08 km2 (2.35 sq mi)|
|Population||651 (2011 Census)|
|• Density||107/km2 (280/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Stoke Row is a village and civil parish in the Chiltern Hills, about 5 miles (8 km) west of Henley-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire and about 9 miles (14 km) north of Reading. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 651.
The earliest known surviving record of the name is from 1435. Stoke is a common place-name derived from Old English, typically meaning a secondary settlement or outlying farmstead. With the affix "row" it means a "row of houses at Stoke". Stoke Row was a hamlet divided between the ancient parishes, and later civil parishes, of Ipsden, Newnham Murren and Mongewell. It was made 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 made a new civil parish.
The Church of England parish church of St John the Evangelist was consecrated in 1846. It was designed in 13th-century style by the architect RC Hussey and is built of knapped flint with stone dressings. The church has a north tower with an octagonal belfry and short spire with a wood shingle roof. The ecclesiastical parish is now a member of The Langtree Team Ministry: a Church of England benefice that also includes the parishes of Checkendon, Ipsden, North Stoke, Whitchurch-on-Thames and Woodcote.
There is a history of Dissenters meeting in the village. Dissenters had been meeting in the village since 1691, when they gathered in the drawing room of a local farmhouse. Stoke Row Independent Chapel was built in 1815. It is a simple Georgian building with flint footings and a hipped roof of slate. In 1884 a Sunday school room was built at the back of the chapel. 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 & on this houses were built. The resulting finance enabled a house to be built for the Minister & for chapel modernisation, including modern heating & an extension built in 1956 that includes a kitchen & toilets. A trust was also established & this still provides for the upkeep of the exterior of both buildings.
In 1978 Padre Bernard Railton Bax took over the ministry. 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 13 years of service. The chapel has always been independent, but it has neighbourly links with the local Anglican parish church. 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 those from various church traditions, including Baptist, Church of the Nazarene and several from a United Reformed Church background.
In June 2015 an outdoor service was held, attended by many villagers, to celebrate the chapel's bicentenary. The congregation sat in a marquee in the chapel grounds and sang hymns with accompaniment from the Reading Central Salvation Army brass band. Rev David and Rev Sonya Jackson gave readings and led prayers, as did Rev Kevin Davies, the minister for Henley deanery. The service was followed by a village picnic. A celebration cake was cut by 95-year-old Ken Jago, the oldest member of the congregation.
- 1959–65: Pastor Ernest Dickerson
- 1967–72: Rev John Potts
- 1973–75: Rev Arthur Tilling
- 1977–90: Rev Padre Bernard Railton Bax
- 1990–2004: Rev John Harrington
- 2004–10: Rev David Holmwood
- 2010–16: Revs David and Sonia Jackson
- 2016– present: Rev Mark Taylor
Edward Anderton Reade, the local squire at Ipsden, had worked with the Maharajah of Benares in India in the mid-nineteenth century. Under Reade's leadership, a well was sunk in 1831 to aid the community in Azamgarh. Reade left the area in 1860, and after his departure, the Maharajah decided to make a contribution to Reade's home area in England. Recalling Reade's help in creating the Azimgurgh well in 1831 and 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 Wallingford firm of RJ and H Wilder made the well mechanism in 1863 and completed the pavilion over the well in 1864. The pavilion is open-sided with a cupola on top and a golden-coloured elephant above the well mechanism. The well and pavilion can be seen in a small park on the north side of the main road through Stoke Row village.
The village has two 17th-century pubs: the Cherry Tree Inn, a Brakspear tied house and the Crooked Billet a free house. Built in 1642 the pub is reputed to have once been the hideout of highwayman Dick Turpin, who was said 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 its first performance with Steve Hogarth as frontman at the pub; a documentary DVD called 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 called "The Farmer" and today is Hope House, at the junction of Main Street with Nottwood Lane. The parish has a Church of England primary school.
- George Cole (1925–2015), actor, lived in Stoke Row for more than 70 years.
- Carol Decker (born 1957), former singer of T'Pau, in 2006 became a joint tenant of the Cherry Tree Inn which her husband Richard Coates had established. It closed in 2012, but later reopened under new ownership.
- Nick Heyward (born 1961), singer-songwriter and guitarist, has lived in the village since 2014.
Grave of a Free Czechoslovak airman in St John's parish churchyard
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Stoke Row Parish (1170217830)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Watts 2010, Stoke Row
- Wilson 1870–72, 
- "Crowmarsh CP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth.
- "Stoke Row CP". Vision of Britain. University of Portsmouth.
- Lewis 1848, pp. 220–224. sfn error: no target: CITEREFLewis1848 (help)
- Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 789
- Historic England. "Church of St John the Evangelist (Grade II) (1369052)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Locations". The Langtree Team Ministry. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Journals of the House of Lords". 1833. p. 306.
- "Independent Chapel". Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Historic England. "Stoke Row Independent Chapel (Grade II) (1271461)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Celebrating 200 years of worship". Henley Standard. Higgs Group. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Williamson 1983 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFWilliamson1983 (help)[page needed]
- Historic England. "Maharajah's Well (Grade II) (1180547)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- Cherry Tree Inn
- Historic England. "Cherry Tree public house (Grade II) (1059327)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Historic England. "The Crooked Billet public house (Grade II) (1180667)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- The Crooked Billet
- "Past and Present". The Crooked Billet. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Steve Hogarth's first Marillion Gig at The Crooked Billet". Archived from the original on 5 June 2012.
- "Stoke Row Census Return 1851". Angela Spencer-Harper. February 2002.
- Stoke Row Church of England Primary School
- Ward, Victoria (31 August 2013). "Actor George Cole in dispute over local sawmill". Daily Telegraph.
- "The Sugar Loaf gets a makeover and a new style of cuisine (From Bucks Free Press)". Bucksfreepress.co.uk. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Last orders for The Cherry Tree". getreading. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Nick Heyward". Henley Life: 7. August 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- Lewis, Samuel, ed. (1931) . A Topographical Dictionary of England (Seventh ed.). London: Samuel Lewis. pp. 220–224.
- 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.
- Watts, Victor, ed. (2010). "Stoke Row". The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 510, 577.
- Williamson, LD (1983). An Illustrated History of The Maharajah's Well. Stoke Row: The Maharajah's Well Trust.
- Wilson, John Marius (1870–72). Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. London and Edinburgh: A Fullarton and Co.
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