The Costwolds, what’s in a name?

Costwold, Cotswald, Costwald, Cotwold or Cotwauld

Costwold, Cotswald, Costwald, Cotwold or Cotwauld all common misspellings for The Cotswolds, But for those of you interested in where the name comes from read on.

There are two main explanations for the word ‘Cotswold’. The first and most  commonly accepted meaning is ‘sheep enclosure’ (cot) and ‘rolling hills’ (wold) so ‘sheep enclosure in rolling hills’. The second comes from the 12th Century word ‘Codesuualt’ or ‘Cods wold’ where ‘Cod’ was a personal name in Medieval times and so the name came to mean ‘Cod’s high and open land’. Both descriptions of the region are true. The Cotswolds is a region of beautiful green rolling hills. It is also a region of few big settlements and lots of open countryside which give great views across the Severn Estuary, Malvern Hills and Black Hills in Wales.

There is plenty of evidence that the region was populated in early Neolithic times. If you walk on the Cotswold Way national hiking trail, you will pass ancient burial mounds such as ‘Belas Knap’ near Winchcombe.

a cotswold way scene

In the middle ages The Cotswolds became very affluent because of ‘The Cotswold Lion’ a name given to the hardy sheep and their fleeces. The wool trade provided money to build some magnificent churches in the region.

In 1966 The Cotswolds was designated as an AONB – an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswold AONB is the largest in the country and covers some 2000 square kilometers.

Today, The Cotswolds is rightly famous for its natural beauty. Picture postcard towns and villages made out of the local Cotswold Stone. This gives the houses and other buildings a unique honey coloured affect.

So, never mind if you get the spelling wrong and call the region Costwold, Cotswald, Costwald, Cotwold or Cotwauld. When you come and visit you can be assured of great holiday experience.

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  1. aysegul

    love Cotswold

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