CHURCH STOWE & STOWE NINE-CHURCHES are situated on a hill half a mile to the west of the A5 and just over a mile south of Weedon, which provides local shopping, hotels and a health club. The village has a Church and Post Office. More comprehensive shopping is available at Daventry, Towcester and Northampton. Communications are excellent with the M1 accessed at Junction 15, five miles east and main line Rail services available from Northampton and Milton Keynes. Sporting facilities in the area include Golf at Farthingstone and Staverton Park, Horse Racing at Towcester and Motor Racing at Silverstone.
Arnold Frederic Wilkins OBE and an assistant prepared the equipment, which was to listen-in for any extraneous radio waves (interference) on the BBC's wavelength of 49 metres as a plane flew overhead. In the early morning (Tuesday 26 February), the Handley Page Heyford (a biplane) K6902 took off from RAE Farnborough and climbed to 6,000ft, being piloted by Flt Lt Robert Blucke (1897-1988). The Heyford was probably the largest aircraft the RAF had at the time. The radio signals to be tested came from the Marconi/BBC transmitter at Borough Hill two miles to the north-west.
The oscilloscope detected that there was disturbance in the amount of electromagnetic energy being received on the BBC's wavelength when the plane flew overhead, and thus radio waves could detect the presence of aircraft, and the approximate navigational position. The aircraft's position was tracked up to a distance of eight miles.
The pilot, Bobby Blucke, would later become Air Vice-Marshal Blucke CB CBE. He was in charge of Blind Approach Training in 1939 and commanded No. 1 Group RAF in 1945.
Stowe Nine Churches has a variety of meetings and events throughout the year.
Coffee Mornings - 1st Saturday of the month, 10:30-12:00 in The Old School Rooms
W.I. - 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7:30 in The Old School Rooms
Friday Clubs - for children and young people
Church Services - St Michael’s and St James’
April - Lambing weekends at The Old Dairy Farm
May - Village Quiz at The Old Dairy Farm
June - Gardeners’ Club June Show
July - Summer Garden Party
September - Gardeners’ Club September Show
October - Harvest Supper at The Old Dairy Farm
November - Village Quiz at The Old Dairy Farm
Stowe-Nine-Churches boasts a long and varied history.
The earliest evidence of settlement at Stowe-Nine-Churches derives from a Prehistoric triple ditch system at the Larches in Church Stowe.
With the villages of Church Stowe and Upper Stowe lying close to the historic Watling Street (A5) and the Whitehall Farm Villa near Nether Heyford which dates from the early 3rd century, the Roman era would have had an influence. The upland position and accessibility of the two villages would also have contributed much to their early history.
The Manor at Church Stowe originally formed part of a Saxon Estate and was recorded in the Doomsday Book (1086). It is believed that the present house has its origins in the 15th Century, the first part being built in 1420.
In the sixteenth century The Manor was owned by John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, who was the second husband of Catherine Parr. On his death in 1543, The Manor was given to Catherine for her lifetime. It is said that Henry VIII visited Stowe whilst courting Catherine who later became his sixth wife. Catherine therefore owned The Manor and may have lived there while Queen of England.
The Manor succeeded to the Earl of Danby who added the front part of the house around 1620 for his mother, Lady Elizabeth Carey. The exquisitely carved marble figure of Lady Elizabeth Carey lies to the south side of the altar in St Michael’s, Church Stowe. The work by Nicholas Stone, a leading sculptor of funeral monuments, has been described as one of the finest sculptures of the age for both design and execution. Lady Carey, who died in 1630, is believed to have been a friend of Shakespeare and during an excavation of the crypt it was hoped that some missing manuscripts of Shakespeare might be discovered, but alas not.