Browse through a treasure trove of second-hand books in our Hayloft. Sit, relax and flick through the variety of genres or just pop in to find what's new.
You'll find a comfy reading chair for a rainy day or drop in for some quality finds. We've got a wide variety on offer as well as historic editions. All donations go towards the restoration of the gardens at Stowe.
The mysteries of Stowe continue throughout the literary world. The gardens influence has rubbed off on many authors and inspiration can be found in many books. A book with possibly the strongest connection to Stowe is the sequel to Gullivers Travel's called Mistress Mashsam's Repose written in 1946 by T.H White. As a former teacher at Stowe, White took strong inspiration from the gardens when creating the setting of the story. A map printed at the back of the book also shows clear comparisons featuring lakes and islands, woodland and temples just like Stowe.
The gardeners also took inspiration from books when creating the gardens. The design of the Sleeping Wood, located next to the Octagon lake, was inspired by Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty. The Sleeping Parlour once sat within a mazy wood, with paths winding through the shrubberies and leading to the centre revealing a secret clearing. This represents the castle becoming hidden in the thorns, the winding paths are your 100 years journey to get through to the clearing and break the spell.
Top reading spot
We've chosen Grenville's Column to represent the bookshop. The statue of Heroic Poetry stands on top representing one of the four types of poetry - Heroic, Pastoral, Satyric and Lyric. Tucked away in the Elysian fields, she faces across the River Styx towards the Temple of British Worthies reading from a scroll which reads 'Non nisi grandia canto' meaning 'Of none but heroic deeds I sing'.
Find a magical world
To discover the Hayloft, head up the staircase at the end of the corridor by the toilets in the New Inn.
We also welcome book donations from the public, if you have any you'd like to give please contact us on 01280 825016 so our team can be on hand to help.