Stony Stratford

Our new studio in the bustling market town of Stony Stratford. Set in the countryside and known as the jewel of Milton Keynes it's steeped in history and full of charm and character. Stony has an outstanding choice of independent stores, offering a more personal service and  supplying everything from everyday goods, to the more unusual and specialised. 

A homewares haven.

The town today

There is a unique selection of small independent businesses which offer a vast array of products for your home. Explore Odell’s Yard, which still houses the original 18th century ironmongers and individual shops converted from the old workshops and warehouses. Visit the Market Square where the Farmer’s market is held on the last Friday of every month or Timor Court for the weekly Saturday market. Have a look around Stratford Arcade and Swinfen’s yard for more local shops.  There is plenty to keep you occupied for the whole day. 

Food and drink

Enjoy the choice of cafés and restaurants which cater for a variety of tastes and cuisine and old coaching inns with delicious real ales and wines. Enjoy live music in some of the pubs and restaurants.

Car parking - it's FREE!

Download the most up to date map here of where to park for free in the centre of Stony town. Map: Mason Edwards Design, Stony Stratford.

If you require an electric vehicle charging point there are two located in the car park on the Market Square. (Please note that other vehicles are not prohibited from using the bays but motorists are encouraged to use another available bay before using the bays in front of the charging points).

A load of 'Cock & Bull'

In the 18th to 19th centuries the town was a stopping off place for coaches carrying mail and passengers.  These passengers would visit one of two local pubs,  The Cock or The Bull,  to discuss news and pass on gossip, this gave rise to  the town’s claim to fame as the origin of the phrase “Cock & Bull story”.


The town itself is steeped in history. The name Stony Stratford is Anglo-Saxon and means ‘stony ford on a roman road’ and is situated on the old Roman road of Watling Street. Originally an important route from Chester to London, Stony has a wealth of history going back as far as 1194 when Richard I (also known as Richard the Lionheart) granted the town the right to hold a market. Over the following years it was visited not just by kings such as Richard II, Henry IV and Henry VIII but also Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, John Wesley who preached in Market Square and Charles Dickens who stayed here many times.  It is also the setting of the region’s last major civil war clash. Stony Stratford even has a mention in Shakespeare’s Richard III where Edward V was captured in the Rose and Crown and arrested in 1483.

Queen Eleanor of Castile

Queen Eleanor was born in Burgos in Spain, the daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile and Joan, the Countess of Ponthieu in France.

When she was about 13 years old, she was married to Edward I.  Edward’s grandfather King John of England and Eleanor’s great grandmother Eleanor of England were the children of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine which meant they were second cousins once removed. Although this was originally an arranged marriage, they fell in love and were inseparable. She even travelled with him when he went on the Crusades to the Holy Land. They were crowned in 1274 after the death of Edward’s father Henry III in 1272 whilst they were away. 

Eleanor was very well educated and was a patron of literature. The use of the Spanish style of tapestries, carpets and tableware became more popular because of her using them herself and she was also involved with garden design. She became a successful businesswoman with her own fortune when she herself became the Countess of Ponthieu.

Edward was devoted to her and following her death in Lincoln in 1290 he arranged for her body to be transported to London with memorial crosses to be erected in each of the stopping places on route, Stony Stratford being one of them, but unfortunately the cross here no longer exists having been destroyed by Parliamentarian soldiers during the English Civil war.

Her body was embalmed in St Catherine’s Priory in Lincoln, the viscera were buried in Lincoln Cathedral, her heart was buried in Black friars’ church in London and her body in a tomb in St Edward the Confessors chapel in Westminster Abbey.

A mural to commemorate her was painted on the side of our shop by Luke McDonnell and in a banner across the top is a quote from one of Edward I letters which reads “In life we dearly cherish, in death we cannot cease to love”.

Local events

Stony Stratford is more than just a shopping destination, it is a thriving lively town with something for everyone. It hosts the “StonyLive” festival of music, performing arts and family events, “StonyWords” literature festival, “Folk on the Green” the longest running annual outdoor live music event in the country and “Classic Stony” classic car festival.

Situated near the Stony Stratford Nature Reserve there is an excellent selection of walks available through the artificially created wetlands or a tour of the historic places of interest in the town itself.  There is also a Treasure Hunt themed walking Treasure Trail  around the town which is suitable for children from aged 6.