This week we took advantage of an almost early spring day to explore the landscapes and little stone villages of the Cotswolds – bright sunshine, rooks cawing in the trees, small fast flowing rivers that form the headwaters of the Thames. This was a landscape made rich by wool, which was packed away across England on good straight routes left by the Romans, shipped to Flanders, Genoa, Venice and beyond. Merchants in Cairo wore Cotswold wool; so did the Janissaries, the crack troops of the Ottoman Empire. The grazing hills of the Cotswolds produced this wealth, and the villages and churches, built out of oolitic limestone, ranging in colour from pale grey to warm honey, contain a unique heritage of medieval architecture and art.
|The church of East Leach Martin|