Projects: East Stoke

East Stoke


The present settlement of East Stoke is relatively modern and there has been considerable movement of both the village and the road in post-medieval times. The village is mentioned in the Domesday book as Stoches or Estoches but also appears to have been rated for Danegeld in late Saxon times. The name is claimed to mean a fenced in place, a tree stump or a log cabin.

The Church

This is dedicated to St Ostwald. The earliest feature is the archway in the tower which dates to the 13th century. The tower itself is 14th century and the chancel window dates from the reign of Richard II (1377-1399). The parish has been linked with those of Syerston and Elston since at least the 17th century and all fell under the Lincoln Diocese.

St Leonard’s Hospital

This was probably located on the site of the present day Stoke Hall. It is claimed that some pieces of the original hospital in the form of carved stones and figures can still be seen in the east wall of the Hall. The exact date of the foundation of the hospital is unknown but it is known that it was founded by the Aincurt family of Thurgaton sometime before 1135. It was basically an almshouse but run on religious lines. It was subject to an enquiry into its running in 1368 and a commission was appointed by Henry VIII to look into its affairs, perhaps because its patron and one of its major benefactors had been Francis Lord Lovell who had been part of the 1487 rebellion against the King’s father Henry VII. The hospital was seized by Henry VIII in 1527, probablys as part of the dissolution of the monasteries, and remained in the hands of the crown until 1548 when it was closed by Edward VI. It was then reopened and rededicated in 1558 and was finally dissolved by Elizabeth I in 1574.

Medieval Village

The original village of Stoke was located on either side of Church Lane running down from the Fosse Way towards the Church and Hall. There are also signs that even early than this parts of the village had been located in what are now the grounds of Stoke Hall. Traces of this settlement can be seen in aerial photographs. More clearly evidence of building platforms can be seen in the fields adjacent to the Fosse Way by the crossroads in East Stoke. These remains are scheduled.


These were investigated in 1994 as part of the preliminary study for the route of the A46 widening. Large trenches were dug to investigate a number of features that had been seen by aerial photograph on the southern side of the village towards Elston. Investigation proved these to be fish ponds of medieval origin but nothing more is known of them.

Upper Fosse Way

This was a higher and probably earlier route along the Trent hills from East Stoke to Gunthorpe Bridge. It is known from records and aerial photographs and has also been found in excavations in the area of Syerston Airfield. It almost certainly predates the Roman invasion and is typical of a ridgeway type track using the high ground above the river to facilitate rapid movement. It is known that it was later used by the Romans although it is not thought to have been overly improved by them. It was later superseded by the Fosse Way although it continued to be used at least until the end of the medieval period.

The path of the upper Fosse can be seen running down to the main road opposite the Pauncefote Arms.

Bronze Age Barrow

This is located to the north of the village on the east side of the Fosse Way. It has mostly been ploughed out. There was also a mill mound for a post mill in the area and the two have been confused for one another in the past. The barrow is a scheduled monument.


Bramley, J. A Short History of East Stoke: Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire (1953)


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