Bourton on the Water
Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in the rural Cotswolds area of south central England. The Cotswold Motoring Museum features vintage cars and a toy collection. Birdland is home to species including parrots, owls and king penguins, plus life-size model dinosaurs. The Model Village is a 1930s scale replica of the village.
The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by long wide greens and the River Windrush that runs through them. The river is crossed by five low, arched stone bridges. They were built between 1654 and 1953, leading to the moniker of “Venice of the Cotswolds”.
The earliest evidence of human activity within the Bourton-on-the-Water area was found in the Slaughter Bridge gravel-spread, where Neolithic pottery (dated c. 4000 B.C.) was discovered. Moreover, excavations of the Salmonsbury Camp give evidence of almost continuous habitation through the Neolithic period, the Bronze Age and throughout England’s Roman period (c. 43 to 410 A.D.). A Roman road, Icknield Street (also known as Ryknild Street), ran from the Fosse Way at Bourton-on-the-Water to Templeborough in South Yorkshire.
Ancient Roman pottery and coins discovered in the village itself give clear evidence of extended Roman occupation. By the 11th century a Christian church, Norman, was established and the village had developed along the River Windrush much as it is today. Centuries earlier, a Saxon timber church was located on that site since about AD 708, built on the site of an old Roman temple. Some of the St Lawrence church on that site today was built in the 14th century but most of it is from the 17th and 18th centuries.