Market Street Stow on the Wold Gloucestershire England
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Stow-on-the-Wold Market Cross sits in Market Square, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, England. The Market Cross was erected as a symbolic reminder to the traders of medieval times to deal honestly and fairly and it stands proudly in the centre of the square to this day. | Today it is a resting place and meeting point for locals and visitors alike and although restored and repaired several times a cross has stood here since the 15th century. | Following the battle of Stow-on-the-Wold in 1646 the commander of the Royalist army, Sir Jacob Astley, made a fighting retreat into the streets of Stow, and, sitting on the base of the Market Cross, he surrendered his army to the Parliamentarians, thus effectively ending the First English Civil War. | Over 1000 royalist prisoners were imprisoned within the Parish Church of St Edward, behind the square, and the dead were laid out a few yards from the Market Cross in Digbeth Street. | Legend has it that the blood of the dead was so deep that ducks were able to bathe in pools of blood - thus ‘Duck’s Bath’ is said to be the origin of ‘Digbeth Street’. | Where the dead are buried largely remains a mystery but a memorial stone to Captain Hastings Keyt, a royalist killed in the battle, can be found within St Edward’s churchyard, a hundred yards to the west of the Cross. | Medieval battles could be said to be the least of the threats to this ancient Market Cross however, for in May 1994 a drunken youth climbed the cross and, on falling, took the cross-head with him. | The four sides of the restored cross-head represent "The Crucifixion", "St Edward", "The Wool Trade", and "The Civil War", all features of great importance to the townsfolk of Stow-on-the-Wold. |
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