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Cotswolds Attractions

In and around Cotswolds you'll find plenty of attractions on offer - depending on your taste from the world famous Blenheim Palace home of the royal family, to Chedworth Roman Villa is a Roman villa located at Chedworth. Cotswolds has a lot to offer.

Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa is a Roman villa located at Chedworth, Gloucestershire. It is one of the largest in Britain.

Siting - Among the many villas in this area, it is unusual in that it faces east and stands in a sheltered, but shady, position overlooking the River Coln. The apsidal shrine with a spring-fed pool in the northwest angle of the villa complex may have dictated the siting, for in it was found a crudely carved figure of Mars Lenus, incised [L]en(o) M[arti] (Adams 2003).

Phases - The ranges of rooms are arranged around a courtyard, with a luxuriously heated and furnished west wing, a south wing where the discovery of numerous coins has suggested a use for issuing payments (Adams 2003); the modestly-equipped west and south wings do not open directly into the peristyle and seem to have been habitations of lower status. The phases of building range from the early second century to the fourth century, with the early fourth century construction transforming an unpretentious workaday structure into an elite dwelling, completely enclosing the courtyard, which offered increased security, and adding porticos round the perimeter to create a peristyle. A triclinium or dining room with a fine mosaic floor was also added. Unusually, a feature of the fourth-century building project was a dry-heat sauna that was added to the complex, which already was provided with the usual Roman bath. The floors of at least eleven rooms were decorated with fine mosaics, of which five, of varying quality, remain. Later structural changes punched holes in the mosaics.

Temple - Foundations of a Romano-Celtic temple of mid-second century date have been excavated about 800 meters south-east of the villa complex, on a hillside near the Coln River. The temple was square in plan, surrounded by a portico which featured stone capitals to its pillars, a luxurious, thoroughly Romanized feature. An Iron Age votive pit producing human remains and the bones of a red deer show that the site had been sacred since pre-Roman times. A stone relief of a hunter with a dog and stag was one of the most notable finds from the site.

Discovery and display - The villa was accidentally discovered in 1864. The former owner, Lord Eldon, built a small picturesque museum near the site to house recovered objects. It has been administered since 1924 by the National Trust.

Hotels near Chedworth Roman Villa
Buttress House from £120.00
Garniche at the Puesdown4 starfrom £60.00
Frogmill Inn3 starfrom £49.00
The Wheatsheaf Inn from £150.00
Yew Tree Cottage BandB4 starfrom £100.00
Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is a large and monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the only non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title "palace". The Palace, one of England's greatest houses in every sense of the word, was built between 1705 and circa 1722. Its construction was originally intended to be a gift to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French. However, it soon became the subject of political infighting, which led to Marlborough's exile, the fall from power of his Duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh.

Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The plaque above the massive East gate gives a sanitised history of the palace's construction, reading:"Under the auspices of a munificent sovereign this house was built for John Duke of Marlborough and his Duchess Sarah, by Sir J Vanbrugh between the years 1705 and 1722. And the Royal Manor of Woodstock, together with a grant of £240,000 towards the building of Blenheim, was given by Her Majesty Queen Anne and confirmed by act of parliament."

The truth is that the building of the palace was a minefield of political intrigue, with scheming on a Machiavellian scale by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Following the palace's completion, it has been the home of the Churchill family for the last three hundred years, and various members of the family have in that period wrought various changes, in the interiors, park and gardens, some for the better, others for the worse. At the end of the 19th century, the palace and the Churchills were saved from ruin by an American marriage. Thus, the exterior of the palace remains in good repair, exactly as completed.

Hotels near Blenheim Palace
Macdonald Bear Hotel4 starfrom £99.00
The Star Inn from £90.00
18th Century Cottage Woodstock from £105.00
The Blenheim Buttery5 starfrom £69.00
The Feathers4 starfrom £199.00

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower is a folly located at one of the highest points (1,024 feet above sea level) of the Cotswolds, England. On a day of clear weather, thirteen counties of England can be seen from the top of the tower. It was designed to resemble a mock castle by James Wyatt, and built for Lady Coventry in 1797. The hill upon which the tower was built was a "beacon" hill, upon which beacons were lit upon special occasions. Lady Coventry wondered if a beacon upon this hill could be seen from her house in Worcester, and sponsored the construction of the folly to find out. The beacon could be seen clearly. Over the years, the tower was home to the printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, and served as a country retreat for artists including William Morris. The tower is on the Cotswold Way; it is easily reached by following the CW from the A44 road at Fish Hill, or by a steep climb out of Broadway village. The tower itself stands 55 feet high.

Hotels near Broadway Tower
The Fish Hotel4 starfrom £90.00
Farncombe Estate Centre4 starfrom £50.00
Mill Hay Country House5 starfrom £185.00
Dormy House Hotel4 starfrom £195.00
The Lodge at Broadway from £84.00

Other Attraction near Cotswolds

  • City Of Caves - These unique hand-carved sandstone caves dating from the 13th century were almost lost for ever when the 'Broadmarsh Shopping Centre' was built in the 1960s.
  • Cotswold Falconry Centre - Cotswold Falconry invites you to a spectacular demonstration with a large variety of birds of prey flying free. This gives a remarkable insight into the ancient art of falconry.
  • Drayton Manor Park - Drayton Manor Park is a theme park set in over 280 acres of parkland, including lakes and a 15-acre open-plan zoo. Drayton Manor Park is open all year round.