Stow Bardolph

Coordinates: 52°37′32″N 0°24′14″E / 52.62555°N 0.40378°E / 52.62555; 0.40378
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Stow Bardolph
Holy Trinity church
Stow Bardolph is located in Norfolk
Stow Bardolph
Stow Bardolph
Location within Norfolk
Area24.68 km2 (9.53 sq mi)
Population1,230 (2011 Census)
• Density50/km2 (130/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTF628058
Civil parish
  • Stow Bardolph
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townKING'S LYNN
Postcode districtPE34
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°37′32″N 0°24′14″E / 52.62555°N 0.40378°E / 52.62555; 0.40378

Stow Bardolph, sometimes simply referred to as Stow, is an estate and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk, lying between King's Lynn and Downham Market on the A10.

The wax effigy of Sarah Hare who died in 1744

It covers an area of 6,100 acres (2,500 ha) and had a population of 1,014 in 421 households at the 2001 census,[1] the population increasing to 1,230 at the 2011 census.[2] For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. The parish includes Stowbridge and Barroway Drove.


The village name evolved from the Old English stōw - place; a place of assembly; a holy place - to which was added the surname Bardolf. This was almost certainly because of connections with the Lords Bardolf of nearby Wormegay Castle.[3]

The Stow Bardolph estate was purchased by the Hare family in 1553. At least three Stow Halls have existed on the estate, the original was built around 1589 by Nicholas Hare, Master of the Rolls and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, but fell into disrepair and was demolished. The second Stow Hall was built around 1796, but this too fell into disrepair and was demolished. The third Stow Hall was built around 1874 and served as a stately home until 1939. From 1940 to 1980 the house was used by the local health authority as a maternity hospital and was demolished in 1994 when it was found to be beyond economic repair.[4]

Holy Trinity Parish Church was extensively restored by John Raphael Rodrigues Brandon around 1850. A wax effigy of the upper body of Sarah Hare including lifelike face and hands is displayed upright in a mahogany case in the Hare Chapel of the church.[5] Hare died from blood poisoning in 1744 at the age of 55. Her will stated she wished to be recreated in wax following her death. It is the only funerary effigy of its kind outside Westminster Abbey.[6] There is a stained glass window to the memory of Victoria Cross recipient James Adams who was vicar here from 1896 to 1902.[7]

The village is home to a Rare Breeds Centre called Church Farm which opened in 2004.[8]


The old rectory serves as a preparatory school and Montessori nursery which opened in 1984.[9] The rectory was previously a maternity home.[10]

Sport and leisure[edit]

The estate is home to the Stow Cricket Club and Croquet Club which were both re-reformed in 1991.[11]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes Archived 2017-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Stow Bardolph, Norfolk: Village Information, History and Genealogy". Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Stow Hall Gardens". Church Farm Stow Bardolph. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Stow Bardolph". Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  6. ^ Connor, Siofra (24 March 2017). "Weird Norfolk: The wax lady of Stow Bardolph". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ 1912 DNB entry
  8. ^ "History of Church Farm". Church Farm Stow Bardolph. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Downham Preparatory School & Montessori Nursery". Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Stow Vicarage Maternity Home, Downham Market". Hospital Records Database. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Home".

External links[edit]

Media related to Stow Bardolph at Wikimedia Commons