Our home in South Cerney – over 1000 years in the making!

Explore The Cotswolds from South Cerney.

The Cotswolds is as famous for its ancient history as it is for its verdant rolling hills and picturesque honey-coloured stone villages. From the Romans in Bath and Cirencester to William Morris’ Arts and Crafts influences at Kelmscott and Broadway Tower, the wider area boasts a long heritage of rich history and culture.

Our local village, South Cerney, was granted its own Royal Charter by Ethelred the Unready in 999 AD. Ethelred’s nickname is derived from an Old English pun on the word for ‘ill-advised’ due to the bad counsel he received during his unfortunate negotiations with the Vikings! Thankfully South Cerney’s Charter proved to be one of Ethelred’s better decisions due to its important geographical location on the border between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia.

1000 years later for the millennium anniversary in 1999, HRH the Princess Royal visited the village to celebrate our illustrious royal status. Gatcombe Park close by, home to the Princess Royal, hosts the Festival of British Eventing every summer.

The pretty medieval All Hallows Church has its own share of South Cerney history. In the early 20th century during routine Church restoration work, decorated wooden carvings of Christ’s head and foot were discovered in the nave wall, presumed to have been once part of a larger crucifix carving. The artefacts are now owned by the British Museum, though archaeologists are still debating their exact age – current estimates suggest they could date back to 1130, making them the earliest of their type ever found in England. How the carvings came to South Cerney remains a mystery worthy of Indiana Jones! Interestingly the artefacts were discovered by the owner of one of our homes, Stonemason’s Cottage, in the 18th Century.

Visiting any of our Cotswold Water Park Retreats, you are never very far away from these ancient histories. Wander into South Cerney for a glimpse of the quaint Cotswold stone cottages and step into the past at All Hallows Church where replicas of the famous carvings are on display. Further afield, the Corinium Museum in Cirencester and the National Trust’s Chedworth Roman Villa reveal the Cotswolds’ Roman archaeological significance, where the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Northleach is an exquisite example of a medieval Cotswold Wool Church, with its resplendent architecture thanks to Cotswold sheep providing ‘the golden fleece’.

Which stories of the past will you discover whilst you explore the Cotswolds from South Cerney!

Take a look at Stonemasons Cottage in South Cerney for availability