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5 of the Best Historical Sites in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are famous for their glorious rolling hills and the gentle honey-stone towns and villages nestled within. But it’s not just beauty that keeps drawing visitors back; it’s also filled with historical sites. So without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 of the best historical sites in the Cotswolds.

1. Chedworth Roman Villa

One of the largest Romano-British villas in the UK, Chedworth was home to some of the richest people in the country during the 4th century. Set in a wooded Cotswolds Combe, this villa is comprised of a series of rooms set around a central courtyard that give visitors a fascinating insight into life at the time. Highlights include a series of stunning mosaics, bathhouses, latrines and even underfloor heating! There’s also a museum with objects from the excavations.

2. Avebury Ring

Located in the Wiltshire Cotswolds, the Avebury Ring is an ancient stone monument, constructed between approximately 2850 and 2200 BC, which encircles an area of about 28 acres, including part of the village of Avebury. This UNESCO World Heritage site was fourteen times larger than Stonehenge and is almost certainly older, but the lack of media attention means it has preserved a magical charm. Today, you can see an earthwork bank and ditch surrounding the inner and outer circle of stones, which you can wander around freely.

3. The Broadway Tower

Standing proudly at the second highest point on the Cotswold Ridge, Broadway Tower is one of England’s most outstanding viewpoints at 1,024 feet above sea level. Built in 1799, this Capability Brown Folly Tower is a fantastic example of a Gothic folly with unrivalled views – on a clear day, you can see up to 16 counties, covering a 62 mile radius. Once a retreat for the artist William Morris, today you can enjoy an exhibition of his works within the tower, or use it as a starting point to explore the surrounding countryside.

4. Tewkesbury Abbey

The Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Tewkesbury is a former Benedictine Abbey and today it’s the second largest parish church in the country. This 12th century abbey lies on the south of the old town, and dominates the landscape with its long nave and what’s been mooted as ‘the largest and finest Romanesque tower in England’. The monastic buildings were destroyed in 1539 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but the church was saved when the parish paid King Henry VIII £459 for the property.

5. Sudeley Castle

Nestled in the Cotswold Hills in the historic town of Winchcombe, Sudeley Castle boasts over one thousand years of fascinating history. The castle has changed hands many times throughout its history and was once the home of King Ethelred the Unready and Catherine Parr, late wife of King Henry VIII, who is buried in the grounds. Today you can see parts of the romantic ruins of the original 15th century castle, explore the award-winning gardens, and view the impressive collection of furniture and paintings in the current castle, which was reconstructed in the 1850s.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, check out our fantastic range of cottages in the beautiful Cotswolds.