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. 

Philip Edward Thomas

The village of Adlestrop

Adlestrop is a village in the Cotswolds, lying just off the road between two equally charmingly-named towns – Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold. The parish lies in the hundred of Slaughter, and deanery of Stow, about three miles northeast from the town of Stow, and 29 miles, in the same direction, from Gloucester.

The river Evenlode runs near the western side of the village and the village is pleasantly situated on the slope of a hill fronting the southwest. Famous for a number or reasons: Adlestrop is the inspiration behind one of England’s most famous poems, Jane Austen was a regular guest at the Rectory where her uncle was the rector and Adlestrop Park may have been the setting for Mansfield Park.

Home to the Cotswolds most famous station, Adlestrop, on the Great Western Line between London and Worcester, is immortalised in one of the best-loved poems in English literature (see left).

But the station that inspired the evocative Edward Thomas’ poem, symbol of a rural golden age that vanished with World War 1, is itself no more. It closed to passenger traffic in 1966 – a plaque on a bench in the village is the only reminder. Since Richard has started training there, this sleepy village has been put on the racing map. Many of his staff live in cottages in the village. The village is part of a 1000-acre estate which is run under trust for the Leigh family and its beauty must be seen to be believed.

For more information on the village of Adlestrop please click here »

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