• Lucy Lambert

Lower Slaughter - Cotswolds Travel Guide

One of our favourite villages Lower Slaughter is located just a short 1.5 miles north of Bourton on the Water, you can reach the village by car just off the Fosseway (A429) or via a wonderful meadow walk from Bourton. This is a small community, set along the River Eye with a wonderful Old Mill, Manor House & gorgeous church. Perfect to wander round & explore. The majority of the village is set alongside the river, one building of note is the Village Reading Room / Community hall built in 1871. Originally built for the village labourers to spend time within its walls 'improving themselves' learning to read & playing games, however at the time it was a strictly masculine affair! Next door you will find the village school, converted for residential use in 1932.

You will notice a series of small stone bridges (tiny in comparison to those found in Bourton) known as 'clapper bridges' set on three free standing stones to transverse the small stream. Closest to the Old Mill pack horses would carry grain across to the mill for grinding. Follow the path along the river & you will notice most of the houses are built of local stone with Cotswold stone roofs, and the red brick of the tall 19th-century mill building at the upper end of the village stands out in striking contrast. These older houses, located along the riverbank were built in the late 16th century and early 17th. Many of these properties have the characteristic mullioned windows, and some with projecting gables or elaborate doorways, however few have escaped modern restoration.

The manor house; now a hotel, has been much altered since it was originally built for the Whitmore family in 1650. Admire the local craftsmanship, by the renowned 'Strong' family. Valentine Strong, a local quarry owner lived in nearby Little Barrington.

The church is not as old as you may imagine, dating back to 1867, it is still actively used by locals & is also the perfect location for weddings hosted in the Manor. The local village pub 'The Slaughters Inn' is located in an enviable position on a curve in the river. The pub carpark & grassland, was originally known as 'Gallows Piece' located opposite the manor house, the gallows popular during the middle ages, were still in use in 1540's but have long since disappeared. The village during that time had it's own court house & prison. The court house, was later leased as a farm house during the 1700s & now used as a residential property.

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