The name "Stoke Poges": Stoke means a stockaded place. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the village was recorded as Stoche. The affix 'Poges' came later, and refers to the family that owned the manor in the 13th century. Thus William Fitz-Ansculf, who held the Manor in 1086 (in the grounds of which the Norman Church was built), became known as William Stoches or William of Stoke. Two hundred years after William, Amicia of Stoke, heiress of the then occupant of the Manor, married Robert Pogeys, who was Knight of the Shire. Thus the name was given to Stoke Poges.
The manor house in Stoke Poges was once a very grand place, and Queen Elizabeth I was entertained here in 1601. Later, in the middle of the 17th century, the lady of the manor, Lady Purbeck, caused great national scandal when she had a love affair outside her marriage. In 1635 she was imprisoned for adultery but escaped from prison to France, later returning to Stoke Poges where she died in 1645. In 1647 the manor house was the place where King Charles I was imprisoned before his execution. Later the manor came into the possession of William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania, and remained in his family for at least two generations.
Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is believed to have been written in the churchyard of the St Giles Church in Stoke Poges, although there are other local claimants, including the theory by Rev. H. Cavalier that the Elegy was actually written in the Churchyard of Everdon, Northamptonshire, based on observations comparing the two churchyards and the lines in the poem.
Certainly, Gray is buried at St Giles and there is a large monument displaying the elegy nearby, built by John Penn, William Penn's grandson. Stoke Poges is also mentioned in 20th century literature, in the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, where it is the location of a frequently-visited golf course.
More recently, the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only filmed its opening sequence, when Bond visits his wife's grave, in the graveyard outside St Giles Church. Another Bond film, Goldfinger features a golf match played between the principal characters, James Bond and Auric Goldfinger, at Stoke Poges Golf Club. The golf club has also featured in the films: Layer Cake, Wimbledon, Bride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones' Diary
|Stoke Poges compared|
|2001 UK Census||Stoke Poges ward||South Bucks borough||England|
The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 40.8% in full-time employment, 11.6% in part-time employment, 12.6% self-employed, 1.8% unemployed, 1.5% students with jobs, 3.1% students without jobs, 16.8% retired, 6.7% looking after home or family, 2.5% permanently sick or disabled and 2.5% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 15.4% retail, 13.4% manufacturing, 6.9% construction, 21.1% real estate, 9.2% health and social work, 7.3% education, 8.8% transport and communications, 3.5% public administration, 3.4% hotels and restaurants, 2.8% finance, 0.8% agriculture and 7.4% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in real estate, transport and communications. According to Office for National Statistics estimates, during the period of April 2001 to March 2002 the average gross weekly income of households was £870, compared with an average of £660 in South East England. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 28.4% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide.