Wotton-under-Edge (pronounced [ˈwʊtən]) is a market town within the Stroud district of Gloucestershire, England. The Cotswold Way long-distance footpath passes through the town. It is about five miles from junction 14 of the M5 motorway, located near the southern end of the Cotswolds.
One mile SW of Wotton-under-Edge, in 1116 Kingswood Abbey was established. All that now remains is a 16th century Cistercian gatehouse.(Archives Hub, 2005) Other historic buildings nearby include the outstanding Tudor houses of Newark Park and Owlpen Manor.
The Katharine Lady Berkeley's Grammar School was built in 1384 and is still a school; (the present modern building is situated a little out of the town, about half-way to the small village of Kingswood) and is now a large comprehensive named Katharine Lady Berkeley's School.
Wotton was traditionally associated with the wool trade it is a common misconception that the name Wotton derives from "Wool Town". In fact the first recorded appearance of the town as such is to be found in a Saxon Royal Charter of King Edmund of Wessex, who in A.D.940 leased four hides of land in WUDETUN to the theign Edrick. The name Wudetun means the enclosure, homestead or village (tun) in or near the wood (wude). The "Edge" refers to the limestone escarpment of the 'Cotswold Edge', which includes the hills of Wotton Hill and Tor Hill that flank the town.
Overlooking the town on the top of Wotton Hill are a collection of trees planted in the 19th century to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. These are situated on the site that housed one of the early warning beacons used to warn England of the approach of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
More recently Wotton has encouraged a thriving arts scene, deriving from the 'Under The Edge Arts Centre' which has seen the creation of the 'Groove Project', a youth music group who have become regulars on the local music scene.
In 2002, following the closure of the local Cinema, a group of volunteers got together and raised funds for a refurbishment to become one of the first (if not the first all-digital Cinemas in the UK. It re-opened in 2005 as a 100 seat modern facility inside an old stable yard, once part of the Crown Inn which closed in 1911. Films were first shown in the old Banqueting Hall of the Inn and moved to the stable yard some years later, due to the popularity of films. The Wotton Electric Picture House (the original name) is now a thriving venue run by volunteers and showing more films each week than almost any other single screen cinema in the UK. The group of enthusiasts are now looking to raising funds to make films locally, intending to involve all age groups in the production of films.
These iniatives follow on from Wotton under Edges long held Do-it-Yourself approach. In the 1950s local people built their own Town Swimming Pool which still thrives today, also run by volunteers. In the 1970s the pool was converted to Solar heating by yet more local volunteers long before it became fashionable. In addition the OK Footpath from Wotton to KLB School was financed by local fundraisers allowing local children to walk off-road to school. There are many other examples that can be found with over 120 local organisations to join...Wotton is a good place to visit...let alone live!
A glimpse of life on the edge ; Nigel Vile starts his walk at the historic Wotton-under-Edge where he finds the proverbial butcher, baker and candlestick maker still alive and very much in business
Apr 27, 2012; Quite where the Cotswolds begin and end is a matter for some debate. The older Cotswold walking guidebooks on my bookshelf seem...
Pastimes: Trail along the Way; Richard Shurey Enjoys One of the Walks along the Cotswold Way Maps: OS Landranger Series Nos 162 and 172 Approach: M5 (Junction 14) B4509 and Lanes to Little Sodbury Parking: Little Layby by Church Refreshments: Wotton-under-Edge
Sep 22, 2001; Byline: Richard Shurey On the first Wednesday in each month, a party of about 20 ramblers leave by minibus from Broadway to walk...
Town Team Partners Hold Inaugural Meeting to Work Up Mary Portas Review to Regenerate High Streets in Stroud, Dursley, Painswick and Wotton-under-Edge
Feb 20, 2013; Retail guru Mary Portas' ideas for reviving High Streets in the Five Valleys and Severn Vale were on the table at the first Town...