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Discover the Cotswolds of Ages Past

Snowshill Hill Estate Bed and Breakfast

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01386 853959

2003 - 2017

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“A large common hill ... with 360 sheep set upon Snowshill Hill"  Extract from The Tithe Book

Snowshill Hill was described in the Tithe book as "a large common hill" forming part of the local Snowshill Manor Estate.  The land called the commons  was formally owned by the landlord, but the rights to use it belonged to the commoners.  

During the early years of the sixteenth century, wool was in demand for the cloth industry, and landlords, who were short of tenants, rather than allow land to go vacant, enclosed "common land" to optimise sheep ranching productivity.  

However with the population growth "enclosure" removed land from general use of the village population and represented a major grievance.  When "sheep eat men" is how Thomas More, in the classic Utopia, described the enclosure of the commons.  The picturesque Cotswold dry stone walls literally became a very visible sign of the changing relationship between lords and tenants. (Source: Keith E. Wrightson: Early Modern England)

Two Thousand Years of Cotswold History

The English Place-Name Society believes the term Cotswold is derived from Codesuualt of the twelfth century, the etymology of which was given Cod's-wold, which is Cod's high open land.  It has been notices that  "Cod" could philologically derive from a Brittonic female cogname "Cuda", which is the name of a mother goddess recognised in the Cotswold region.  (Source: Yeates S.J. 2006)

The Romans Loved The Cotswolds

Buckle Street, an eight foot wide ancient Roman road, ascends the Cotswolds near Saintbury passes Broadway Tower on the west and runs along a ridge of hills bordering Snowshill Hill to join the Foss Way near Bourton-on-the-Water.  The Roman Villa at Chedworth (20.3 miles away) is one of the largest Roman villas in Britain that was built between the second and fourth century.  The mosaic floors and bathing suites are evidence of a lavish lifestyle on the very edge of the Roman Empire.

Countryside to Inspire Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night's Dream

Although there is no evidence to support it, we like to believe that England's greatest bard was inspired by the beauty of the Cotswolds.  It certainly sounds like it:

"Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:

There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,

Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight"

Snowshill Hill, selected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest to preserve some of the rarest orchids found in England is a short drive away from William Shakespeare's birth place, Stratford -Upon -Avon (17.6 miles)

Bitter Civil Wars Fought for These Cherished Hills

A new bridge in Evesham (10.2 miles) has been named after Simon de Montfort, who founded the first parliament and is a national hero to this day.   In 1265, along a ridge called Green Hill, just north of Evesham, Prince Edward, later King Edward 1, defeated Simon de Montfort in an engagement that turned into a massacre.  The battlefield is a key landmark along the rocky road to parliamentary democracy.

 In 1646, Sir Jacob Astley, a Royalist, trying to reach Oxford with 3,000 men was confronted and defeated by Roundhead forces (Parliamentarian).  He chose a hill, north west of Stow-in-the-Wold (7.3 miles), straddling the present day A424 highway, to engage the enemy.  

History Woven into the Rugged Cotswold Hills

Hiking and cycling

Visit the rustic pubs like the Plough at Ford or Snowshill Arms in Snowshill

Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon

Snowshill & Broadway villages

Broadway Tower

Golf at Broadway Golf Club

The Cotswold Wild Life Park

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Batsford Arboretum

Stow Fair

Cotswold Olimpicks

Horse Riding

Heritage Railway

Homes and Gardens, Blenheim Palace and Oxford (25 miles)

Things to do

History and Heritage