Cotswolds Trivia - Quirky Facts

The network of Cotswold dry-stone walls is at least as long as the Great Wall of China. Picture © Cotswolds Conservation BoardThe Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has a network of dry stone walls at least equivalent to the length of the Great Wall of China. 
 
Stroud parish was originally part of Bisley, and only began to emerge as a distinct unit by the 13th Century.

Stow-on-the-Wold's stocks date back to the 15th Century, although they have been replaced a number of times.

The Tetbury Woolsack Races, founded in 1972, is an annual competition where participants carry a 60 pound sack of wool up and down Gumstool Hill. The popular event takes place on the late May Bank Holiday.

William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream was allegedly written for a wedding of one of the Berkeley family, of Berkeley Castle, in 1596.

Popular events such as the annual football in the river match means Bourton-on-the-Water sometimes have more visitors than residents.Although Bourton-on-the-Water has a population of about 3,300, it is officially classed as a village.
This is slightly odd, considering Bourton's population actually exceeds those of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold (approximately 2,800) and Burford (about 1,350), both of which are officially recognised as towns.
At peak times during the summer tourist season Bourton often has more visitors than residents.
 
Dickie Pearce, family jester to the Earl of Suffolk and probably the last court jester in England died at Berkeley Castle when he tumbled from the minstrel's gallery in the Great Hall during a performance.
An alternative version suggests that Pearce was murdered. He was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's, Berkeley, and the verse inscribed on his tomb is thought to be the work of the author Jonathan Swift.
 
The area of the Cotswold Water Park, whose 150 crystal clear lakes were created through 50 years of gravel extraction, is larger than the island of Jersey. More than 1 million tonnes of gravel are extracted from the water park every year. It takes 65 tons of sand and gravel to build an average house.

St John's Lock, Lechlade, is the highest lock on the Thames.Lechlade is the highest town to which the River Thames is navigable by relatively large craft including narrowboats.
It is actually possible to travel by river or on foot from Lechlade to London. The highest lock on the Thames is St John's Lock, at Lechlade.

In September 2010 the British National Party (BNP) scrapped plans to move their national media centre to a business park near Stroud after protests by local residents.

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a population of 139,000 and attracts 38 million visitors each year.
© Loving The Cotswolds. 2017.