cotswolds travel guide, Upper Slaughter
Lucy & Richard from Cotswolds Guided Tours, just love sharing their local area with visitors. If you want to learn more about the Cotswolds then we hope you find this Cotswolds travel guide useful. Remember you can always join us for a day trip exploring, you have two options our private Cotswold tours or our small, mixed group sightseeing Cotswolds tours. We are open all year round, so book & be our special guests for a wonderful day trip.
Upper Slaughter, a high wold village, or a high-hillside village untouched by tourism, however there is one hotel located here, 'The Lords of the Manor hotel'
Upper Slaughter has one of the finest examples of an Elizabethan Manor House in the Cotswolds with its two storey porches, built by the Slaughter Family in Tudor times and extended much over the years. Local legend has it that John 'Slaughter' on completing the manor house, changed his surname to 'Slaughter' in order to give himself instant status within the community.!
The Manor house was built on the site of a medieval monastery due to a vaulted crypt underneath the existing building. After the reformation, throughout England, Henry VIII sold of land or gifted it to those at court. Stone from the monastery was used in the building of the house. It has changed hands many times since it was built & fell into disrepair on numerous occasions. Now fully restored on occasions throughout the summer the gardens & some rooms within the house are open to the public to explore. Upper Slaughter Manor stands on the outskirts of the village.
Nearby you have another property which was built by the Slaughter family, now known as the Lords of the Manor is essentially a Jacobean building, begun in 1649 and converted into a luxury hotel in 1972. Both properties formed part of the same estate until the Manor was separated in or around 1852
Upper Slaughter is considered a rather lucky place to live, not just because of its beauty but this village is known as a ‘Doubly Thankful' village, one of only 13 villages in England! Hmmmm, you may wonder, what exactly is a 'doubly thankful village'? Well, as you explore the village, you will notice there is no war memorial.... however inside St Peters Church there is a plaque which gives thanks, that almost uniquely 61 men from the village joined the armed forces to fight during the 1st and 2nd World Wars and not a single one was killed! As mentioned before there are only 13 villages in England that can claim known as a doubly thankful status. Although the village did not escape unscathed, during the second world war, incendiary devices were dropped on the village, not intentionally but by German planes returning home after a bombing raid in Birmingham.
Another term you may hear as you travel around England is 'Thankful Villages'. There are 32 Thankful villages in England where during one of the world wars all the men returned safely home.
During the summer months the little village hall may open to serve teas & coffees to raise money for the village, however the Lord's of the Manor hotel is open to non-residents (providing it hasn't been booked out for a wedding) on clear summer days, sit out in the garden, raised about the River Eye & soak up the atmosphere in the quiet doubly thankful village. Other points of interest to check out in the tiny village include, the telephone box which has now been repurpose, the ford, the village school & old Methodist chapel, both of the latter have now been converted into residential properties.
There is no public transport in the village, however you can take a wonderful circular walk from Bourton on the Water, via Lower Slaughter to this village. Or equally from Stow on the Wold down through Upper Slaughter & Lower Slaughter.