The villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter possibly derive their names from the sloe tree in the days when travellers used natural objects to guide them on their journey. A prominent sloe tree would be a significant local landmark and some still survive in the area.
The lovely village of Upper Slaughter has a small tributary of the Windrush running through it and is a place of grey-brown stone and gentle contentment where Cotswold stone cottages nestle among the trees. The Church of St Peter retains many good Norman features, including the tower. The fine Parsonage down by the brook dates from the 17th century.
On the hill above the village stands the old manor house, now a hotel. This is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Cotswolds with the oldest part dating from the 15th century whilst the front is Elizabethan and the porch is Jacobean.
Lower Slaughter, which is close by, has many attractive cottages and a stream which flows through the centre of the village under many small bridges of ancient weathered stone. The stream was used to drive the old mill which can still be seen. The 13th century church of St Mary was almost completely rebuilt in 1867 but retains its original nave arcade of pointed arches on slender pillars. Beside the church stands the charming manor house, now a guest house. In its garden there is a fine old gabled dovecot.