Stow-on-the-Wold stands at over 700 ft above sea level on the Cotswold Plateau.
The small hill-top settlement, dating back to the Iron Age, grew to importance beside the Roman Fosse Way at its junction with 6 other roads.
Later Stow was one of the medieval planned towns, for which the Cotswolds is renowned.
The town became prosperous with the wool trade and its Market Square, now surrounded by mellow Cotswold stone town houses, shops and inns, is still large and impressive. This open space in the town centre once hosted some of the largest sheep fairs in the Cotswolds, with up to 20,000 animals herded here for sale. The restored Market Cross is a reminder of those times.
At the other end of Market Square are the Old Stocks shaded by an ancient elm tree. With its favourable position at an important crossroads, Stow was a flourishing coaching town and King Charles I is said to have stayed at the King's Arms during the Battle of Naseby.
Stow played an significant role in the Civil War. When the Battle of Stow, the last battle of the conflict, was fought at nearby Donnington in 1646 St Edward's Church in Stow was used as a prison for the defeated Royalists troops.
Today the town is major centre for English antiques. As well as the antique shops there are also a number of art galleries, crafts and gift shops to visit, and excellent restaurants and pubs.
At Upper Swell, near Stow-on-the-Wold, is the Donnington Trout Farm as well as Guiting Power - home to the Cotswold Farm Park, an important breeding centre for many rare breeds.
Cotswolds Farm Park The home of rare breed conservation.
Toy and Collector's Museum A great collection of toys.
Towns Near Stow-on-the-Wold To Visit - straight line distance:Bourton-on-the-Water (3.48 miles) Moreton-in-Marsh (4.17 miles) Chipping Norton (7.62 miles) Northleach (8.46 miles)