5. Market Square
Stony Stratford Market Square
In common with many small towns in England, the hub of town activity was the Market Square. Though it no longer hosts a market, Stony Stratford's market place is still recognisable in its setting as the illustration from 1700 (below) shows.
Stony Stratford market square in 1700
The Wesley ElmThe remains of an elm tree in the southwest corner of the square bear a plaque set there in 1950, recording the fact that John Wesley (the famous 18th century Methodist preacher) visited Stony Stratford on five occasions, and on one of them he preached from the shade of this tree.

In the last century the tree suffered vandalism and arson attacks, which have reduced it to a charred hollow rather than the majestic specimen we see in some of the old postcards shown below.

Stony Stratford - Market Square and Wesley Elm The south side of the Market Square.

Where in the early 1900s children played round the horse trough, the animal pens and beneath the boughs of Wesley's Elm, shoppers and visitors now fight for a parking space.

The Crown Inn (scene of the Great Court Leet of the 19th Century - see History) is undergoing refurbishment of the frontage. In the far corner in Silver Street stands another of Stony's one-time inns - the former King's Head.

Stony Stratford - Market Square 2003
The north and east sides of the market square show remarkably little change over the past century.

The building on the left is the old Police Station.

There has been a shop on the east side of the market sqaure for several hundred years. In the earlier picture it is an ironmongers, in the latter-day view it is the current location for Cox & Robinson's, one of Stony's oldest established firms. (see Shops)

Stony Stratford - Market Square1900s
Stony Stratford - Market Square 2003

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