The area known as the Cotswolds is a stretch of rolling uplands, mainly in Gloucestershire but also extending into neighbouring counties.
It is an immensely attractive region, regarded by many as the most attractive part of England. It is generally accepted that the name derives from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘cote’, a sheepfold, and ‘wold’ or ‘weald’, a piece of open uncultivated land, downs or woods. It was once a great centre for the rearing of sheep, whose fine wool brought fame and prosperity to the area.
By the end of the 14th century the wool industry had become England’s most important trade. The wealth accumulated in this trade from the 14th to the 16th century is reflected in the magnificent churches and splendid manor houses which were built. Many Cotswold villages and towns today, surprise visitors by the grandeur of their buildings.