The Cotswolds - An Introduction.
The Cotswolds owes its existence to the Wool Trade.
12th Century saying:-‘In Europe the best wool is English and in England the best wool is Cotswold’
In the Middle Ages the Cotswolds region was well known throughout Europe as the source of some of the best wool. Ideal for sheep the Cotswolds are known for huge flocks raised by the Abbeys and monasteries, known as the 'Cotswold Lions'. Native sheep with golden long fleeces, these large animals were breed for wool. Rich Merchants spent money building wool churches as well as beautiful houses for themselves. Grevel's House in Chipping Campden is a fine example. At that time 50% of England's economy was due to wool.
The world-famous row of cottages at Arlington Row, Bibury were constructed 600 years ago as a factory for processing wool. The Stroud valleys have plenitful waterpower and in 18th century became home to cloth manufacture. At its height there were about 150 mills. Many still exist today, although, used for other purposes.
The wool trade became the weaving trade. Stroud valleys became famous for cloth manufacture in the 18th Century, which was concentrated in the steeper region of the southern cotswolds where waterpower was plentiful.
Designated as an 'Area of Outstanding Beauty' the largest in England and Wales. Stretching from Chipping Campden, in the north, to Bath in the South, covering an area of 2038 sq. kms (790 sq. miles) and comprising of over 80% farmland. Shaped by residents for 6000 years, it has the most conservation areas of any region.
If you are looking to visit the Cotswolds for a day or several days we are able to provide chauffeur driven tours of the cotswolds. The professional friendly team can be accompanied by professional blude badge guides to give you further indepth knowledge and history.