Shipston-on-Stour is located between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford and was once an important stopping place for stagecoaches. Many former coaching inns remain in the town in the area of the High Street. The origin of the name Shipston is from the Anglo Saxon Scepwaeisctune meaning Sheep-wash-Town, because of having once been an important sheep market.

Although demand for local wool fell, fortunately the local economy was sustained by the opening, in 1836, of a branch line running from the horse-drawn Stratford and Moreton tramway. This linked Moreton-in-Marsh with Stratford. In 1889 the line was upgraded to allow the operation of steam trains from Moreton to Shipston. Passenger services to the town were withdrawn in 1929 and the line closed completely in 1960.

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