Shaped by more than 6,000 years of human activity, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) contains a wealth of archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes.The AONB also provides the setting for two world heritage sites, Blenheim Palace to the east and the city of Bath in the West.
Evidence of man’s occupation and management of the land over time can be found across the AONB. From the Neolithic long barrows, such as Hetty Peglers Tump near Uley and Belas Knapp south of Winchcombe to evidence of past agricultural practices still evident in the landscape today, in the form of ridge and furrow.
The success of the wool trade in the Cotswolds from the Middle Ages onwards is hugely significant. The wealth generated by wool merchants went into bricks and mortar and has left the Cotswolds with a living legacy, the fine architecture carved out in the soft limestone of the houses and churches in Cotswold towns and villages.