The COTSWOLDS is an area in south central
Cotswolds covers 2,038 square km and is the second largest
protected landscape in the UK (second to the Lakes district.) Its
boundaries are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km)
long, stretching south-west from just south of
just south of Bath . It lies across the boundaries of several English
Oxfordshire , and parts of
* 1 History * 2 Geography * 3 Economy * 4 Cotswold stone * 5 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty * 6 Places of interest
* 7 Transport
* 7.1 Railways
* 8 In culture * 9 Bordering area * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links
There is evidence of Neolithic settlement from burial chambers on Cotswold Edge, and there are remains of Bronze and Iron Age forts. Later the Romans built villas, such as at Chedworth, settlements such as Gloucester, and paved the Celtic path later known as Fosse Way .
During the Middle Ages , thanks to the breed of sheep known as the Cotswold Lion, the Cotswolds became prosperous from the wool trade with the continent, with much of the money made from wool directed towards the building of churches. The area still preserves numerous large, handsome Cotswold Stone "wool churches". The affluent area in the 21st century has attracted wealthy Londoners and others who own second homes there or have chosen to retire to the Cotswolds.
The name Cotswold is popularly attributed the meaning "sheep
enclosure in rolling hillsides", incorporating the term, wold ,
meaning hills. Compare also the Weald from the Saxon/German word Wald
meaning 'wood'. However, the
English Place-Name Society has for many
years accepted that the term Cotswold is derived from Codesuualt of
the 12th century or other variations on this form, the etymology of
which was given, 'Cod's-wold', which is 'Cod's high open land'. Cod
was interpreted as an Old English personal name, which may be
recognised in further names:
Bibury , a typical Cotswold village
The spine of the
Cotswolds runs southwest to northeast through six
counties, particularly Gloucestershire, west
Oxfordshire and south
western Warwickshire. The northern and western edges of the Cotswolds
are marked by steep escarpments down to the Severn valley and the
Warwickshire Avon . This feature, known as the Cotswold escarpment, or
sometimes the Cotswold Edge, is a result of the uplifting (tilting) of
the limestone layer, exposing its broken edge. This is a cuesta , in
geological terms. The dip slope is to the southeast. On the eastern
boundary lies the city of
The area is characterised by attractive small towns and villages
built of the underlying Cotswold stone (a yellow oolitic limestone ).
This limestone is rich in fossils , particularly of fossilised sea
urchins . Cotswold towns include
Bourton-on-the-Water , Broadway ,
The town of Chipping Campden is notable for being the home of the Arts and Crafts movement , founded by William Morris at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. William Morris lived occasionally in Broadway Tower , a folly, now part of a country park. Chipping Campden also is known for the annual Cotswold Olimpick Games , a celebration of sports and games dating back to the early 17th century.
Tourism is a significant part of the economy in the general area,
generating about £1 billion in 2016 and supporting 200,000 jobs; this
data is for the
Cotswolds Tourism area, including Stroud, Cheltenham,
According to the 2011 Census data for the Cotswolds, the wholesale and retail trade was the largest employer (15.8% of the workforce), followed by education (9.7%) and health and social work (9.3%). The report also indicates that a relatively higher proportion of residents were working in agriculture, forestry and fishing, accommodation and food services as well as in and professional, scientific and technical activities.
Unemployment in the District was among the lowest in the country.
Typical Cotswold stone
Cotswold stone is a yellow oolitic
AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY
Rolling hills and farm fields that typify the Cotswolds landscape
Cotswolds were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty (AONB) in 1966, with an expansion on 21 December 1990 to 1,990
square kilometres (768 sq mi). In 1991, all AONBs were measured again
using modern methods. The official area of the
Cotswolds AONB was
increased to 2,038 square kilometres (787 sq mi). In 2000, the
government confirmed that AONBs had the same landscape quality and
National Parks . The
Cotswolds AONB, which is the largest
Cotswolds Conservation Board has the task of conserving and
enhancing the AONB. Established under statute in 2004 as an
independent public body, the Board carries out a range of work from
securing funding for 'on the ground' conservation projects, to
providing a strategic overview of the area for key decision makers,
such as planning officials. The Board is funded by Natural
While the beauty of the Cotswolds AONB is intertwined with that of the villages that seem almost to grow out of the landscape, the Cotswolds were primarily designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the rare limestone grassland habitats as well as the old growth beech woodlands that typify the area. These habitat areas are also the last refuge for many other flora and fauna, with some so endangered that they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 . Cleeve Hill , and its associated commons, is a fine example of a limestone grassland and it is one of the few locations where the Duke of Burgundy butterfly may still be found in abundance.
The uniqueness and value of the
Cotswolds is shown in the fact that
The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens Service was established in 1968 to help conserve and enhance the area, and now has more than 300 wardens.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The "Secret Garden" at Sudeley Castle
Pictured right is the Garden of
Sudeley Castle at
Winchcombe . The
present structure was built in the 15th century and may have been on
the site of a 12th-century castle. It is situated north of the Spa
An unusual house in this area is
Quarwood , a Victorian Gothic house
Of the many Manor houses built in the area Owlpen Manor is a Tudor Grade I listed manor house of the Mander family, situated in the village of Owlpen in the Stroud district of Gloucestershire . Moving further north, Broadway Tower is a folly on Broadway Hill, near the village of Broadway, in the English county of Worcestershire. To the south of the Cotswolds is Corsham Court an English country house in a park designed by Capability Brown situated in the town of Corsham , 3 miles (5 km) west of Chippenham, Wiltshire.
Map of Cotswolds roads from 1933
Cotswolds lie between the M5 , M40 and M4 motorways . The main
A-roads through the area are the A46 : Bath –
Stroud – Cheltenham
; the A419 :
There are local bus services across the area, but some are infrequent.
The area is bounded by two major rail routes: in the south by the
main Bristol–Bath–London High Speed line (including the South
Wales Main Line ) and in the west by the Bristol–
Mainline, high-speed rail services to the big cities run from railway
stations such as Bath ,
Additionally, there is the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway , a steam heritage railway serving the Cotswolds from Cheltenham Racecourse through Gotherington , Winchcombe and Hayles Abbey Halt to Toddington and Laverton. The preserved line is currently being extended to Broadway, with the aim of reaching Honeybourne and making a reconnection with the Cotswold Line .
The Cotswold region has inspired several notable English composers.
In the early 1900s,
Herbert Howells and
Ivor Gurney used to take long
walks together over the hills, and Gurney urged Howells to make the
landscape, including the nearby
Malvern Hills , the inspiration for
his future work. Accepting, in 1916, Howells wrote his first major
piece, the Piano Quartet in A minor, inspired by the magnificent view
of the Malverns ; he dedicated it to "the hill at Chosen (
Cotswolds are a popular location for filming scenes for movies
and television programmes. The film Better Things (2008), directed by
Duane Hopkins, is set in a small Cotswold village. The fictional
Agatha Raisin lives in the fictional village of
the Cotswolds. The
Other movies filmed in the
Cotswolds or nearby, at least in part,
include some of the Harry Potter Series (
The television series Father Brown was almost entirely filmed in the Cotswolds. Scenes and buildings in Sudeley Castle was often featured in the series. The vicarage in Blockley was used for the main character's residence while St. Peter and St. Paul church was St. Mary’s in the series. Many exterior shots of village life in the Downton Abbey TV series were filmed in Bampton, Oxfordshire .
NEIGHBOURING AREAS OF THE COTSWOLD .
* ^ "
Cotswolds – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".
Cotswolds Conservation Board. Archived from the
original on 4 August 2014.
* ^ http://www.cotswolds.info/cotswolds-fact-sheet.shtml
* ^ "Hill Bagging: Cleeve Hill". Hill Bagging: the online version
of the Database of British and Irish Hills. Archived from the original
on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
* ^ Carolione Mills (15 April 2011). Slow Cotswolds. Bradt Travel
Guides. p. vii. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017.
* ^ Andrew McCloy, Andrew Midgley (2008). Discovering Roman
Britain. New Holland Publishers. p. 90. Archived from the original on
18 January 2017.
* ^ Hayley Dixon (9 October 2013). "\'Roman\' roads were actually
built by the Celts, new book claims". The Telegraph. Archived from the
original on 4 May 2014.
* ^ "The Kingscote,
Gloucestershire area". Kingscote Park. Archived
from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
* ^ Charnock, Richard Stephen (1859). Local etymology: a derivative
dictionary of geographical names. Houlston and Wright. p. 76. Archived
from the original on 1 January 2014.
* ^ Smith, A. H. (1964) The Place-Names of Gloucestershire, part 1:
"The Rivers and Road-names, the East Cotswolds," Cambridge, p.2
* ^ Smith A. H. 1964 The Place-Names of
Gloucestershire part 2: The
North and West Cotswolds, Cambridge pp. 7–8
* ^ Yeates, S. J. (2008) The Tribe of Witches: The Religion of the
Dobunni and the Hwicce, pp. 11–18
* ^ Yeates, S. J. (2006) "River-Names, Celtic and Old English:
Their Dual Medieval and Post-medieval Personalities," Journal of the
English Place-Name Society 38, pp.63–81
* ^ A B "Cotswold Stone". Cotswold Gateway. Archived from the
original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
* ^ "History". Court Barn Museum. Archived from the original on 31
January 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
* ^ "Broadway Tower". Cotswold website. Archived from the original
on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
* ^ "Origins of Robert Dover\'s Games". Olympick Games. Archived
from the original on 2 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
* ^ http://www.cotswolds.info/cotswolds-fact-sheet.shtml
* ^ Freda Derrick (1948). Cotswold stone. Chapman & Hall.
* ^ "Cotswold stone". cotswold.gov.uk.
Cotswold District Council.
Archived from the original on 23 March 2014.
* ^ "AONB".
Cotswolds AONB. Archived from the original on 4 August
2014. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
Cotswolds Archived 26 July 2010 at the
Wayback Machine .