Photo: Will O'Brien
The village of Stoke Hammond is to be found in the Northeastern quadrant of the great County of Buckinghamshire and was described by Arthur Mee in his 'King's England' series as 'Prettily situated above the valley, through which runs the Grand Union Canal, it has thatched and timbered cottages and a 17th Century Inn with five chimneys'. Most certainly the Three Locks Public House on the Grand Union Canal continues to thrive and the village is set to benefit shortly from a new by-pass.
The village's name comes from the Old English 'Stoc' - an outlying farmstead or hamlet, together with the affix taken from one Hamon Brito, the son of Mainfelin Brito, a 12th century descendant of the holder of the manorial rights recorded at the time of the Domesday Book.
The village has also been in the possession of the very powerful Duke of Norfolk and local family names such as Fountane and Disney have exerted influence.
|The Parish Church of St Luke was built in the 13th Century with its tower added one hundred years later. There is a charming Jacobean alms box close to the door dated 1618 and much else to please the eye of anyone interested in the beauty of a well tended English Parish Church. At the time of this author's visit to Stoke Hammond, the Church Warden came out to open up and show us round. 'Lofty' Harrap seemed to be the epitome of all that is good and worthwhile in this most English of locations; he had served his country as a Steward in the Royal Navy for 12 years and after leaving the Service had taken on the duties of the village Church Warden. That was in 1956 and half a century later he has lost none of the enthusiasm and dedication required for the task - for which the village of Stoke Hammond has a great deal to be thankful for.||
There is a War Memorial in St Luke's to the three men of the village killed in combat, which reads:
TO THE MEMORY
OF THE MEN OF THIS
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
FOR THEIR COUNTRY
JOSEPH CATO ITALY 1943
ROBERT F. GALE M.C. FRANCE 1944
SAMUAL R BAILEY MALAYA 1952
AT HE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Stoke Hammond suffered no fatalities in the Great War of 1914 to 1918 and was the only 'Thankful Village' in the County of Buckinghamshire.
Text: Rod Morris
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