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High Street, Shipston
Shipston-on-Stour is located in Warwickshire
Location within Warwickshire
Population5,038 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSP2540
Civil parish
  • Shipston on Stour
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townShipston-on-Stour
Postcode districtCV36
Dialling code01608
AmbulanceWest Midlands
EU ParliamentWest Midlands
UK Parliament
WebsiteShipston-on-Stour Town Council
List of places
52°03′36″N 1°37′23″W / 52.060°N 1.623°W / 52.060; -1.623Coordinates: 52°03′36″N 1°37′23″W / 52.060°N 1.623°W / 52.060; -1.623

Shipston-on-Stour is a town and civil parish in south Warwickshire. It lies on the River Stour about 10 miles (16 km) south of Stratford-upon-Avon in the heart of the area historically known as the Vale of the Red Horse,[2] close to the boundaries with Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.


In the 8th century, the toponym was Scepwaeisctune,[3] Old English for Sheep-wash-Town, as it was once an important sheep market.[citation needed] The name evolved through Scepwestun in the 11th century, Sipestone, Sepwestun and Schipton in the 13th century and Sepestonon-Sture in the 14th century.[3]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Edmund has a 15th-century tower;[4] the Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street rebuilt the rest of the church in 1855.[4] The tower had a ring of five bells until 1695 when they were recast and rehung as a ring of six.[5] Since then all the bells have been recast and rehung from time to time, notably in 1754 and by John Taylor & Co. in 1979.[5]

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,[6] remain in the area of the High Street.

Following a fall in the demand for local wool, the local economy was in part sustained[citation needed] 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 Passenger services to the town were withdrawn in 1929 and the line closed completely in 1960.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.


The Sports Club has football,[7] cricket, bowls, tennis[8] and angling[9] clubs. Shipston First Scout Group has Beaver (ages 6–8), Cub (ages 8–10½) and Scout (ages 10½–14) sections.[10] Shipston on Stour Rugby Football Club currently plays in the Midlands 3 West (South) league.[11] Shipston has a brass band.[12]

Shipston has a small museum located off Telegraph street;[13] the museum was set up, and is run by local people. It is stocked with artifacts and memorabilia relating to the town and the surrounding villages.

Notable people[edit]

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.[14] Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin lived in Ilmington near to Shipston-on-Stour, and died at her home there in 1994. Cy Endfield, the American born film director who directed many notable films, including 'Mysterious Island' (1961), both 'Zulu' films and 'Hell Drivers' lived in Shipston-on-Stour, where he died in 1995 aged 80. Simon Travis, former professional footballer, has recently moved to the town.


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National statistics. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ Beckinsale, R. (1980) The English Heartland, Duckworth, p.5
  3. ^ a b Victoria County History 1913, pp. 521–524
  4. ^ a b Pevsner & Wedgwood 1966, p. 395
  5. ^ a b Chester, Mike. "Shipston on Stour St Edmund". Church Bells of Warwickshire. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Coach and Horses in Shipston-on-Stour". Find a Hook Norton Pub. 2013. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Home". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Scouts - Item". Scouts. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Welcome". Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Museum | Shipston Tourism". Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  14. ^ Lost Albums: Sing Slowly Sisters (BBC4 documentary.) The song "Cold Be My Days" in connection to Shipston-on-Stour is mentioned, at 15:16.


External links[edit]