"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on March 17, 2016 by Sioux under General
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Sunday morning was explore time, and we were going into the heart of Cotswold country, but first stopping in Broadway for a delicious breakfast at the Broadway Deli, and then making our way along gorgeous country roads towards our destination.

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The Lygon Arms, once the manor house, is now a luxury hotel, with almost half of its rooms being in the 16th century part of the building. Fascinating to think that, during the Civil War, King Charles I conferred with his confidants here; and Oliver Cromwell actually slept at The Inn.

 

I was intrigued by the ivy tree growing up the front façade of the building, and looking at photos on the internet, could see that it had been growing there for many years!

The village of Broadway, also known as “The Jewel of

the Cotswolds”, is steeped in history. The Normans

built a stone church in nearly every manor and more

than half the land was owned by monasteries.

 

The closure of the monasteries brought new gentry,

whose gabled stone houses are an important legacy.

The concept of land ownership strengthened as the

open fields were whittled away or abolished by Acts of

Parliament. More corn was grown by the farmers and

less sheep were kept. Farms became larger, employing

more labourers (whose cottages survive today), whilst

the trade of the towns declined. Many of the houses in Broadway are ‘listed buildings’ and cannot be built onto or changed in any way.

After breakfast, my hosts left me to wander around Broadway while they collected the dogs and from there we headed to The Slaughters.

The main street through Broadway was an ancient ‘ridgeway’ and the main road from Worcester to London. It remains a wide street or ‘broad way’ hence the name. As with most villages in the UK, there is a memorial to men and women of the area that perished in the defence of their country. Broadway became a busy stage coach stop on the route from Worcester to London and later Broadway was home to various artists and writers including Elgar, John Singer Sargent, J.M. Barrie,

Vaughan Williams,

William Morris and

Mary Anderson.

Little is known of the early history of the St Michaels and All Saints church in Broadway, but the parish was a dependency of the Benedictine Abbey of Pershore until its dissolution in 1540.

 

When Broadway began to develop as a village, around the present High Street, it was a fair distance away from the ancient church of St. Eadburgha, which had been the parish church since the late part of the 12th century. A more accessible pace of worship was required, and around 1608 a ‘chapel-of-ease’ was built on this site.

A small stone building with a bell-turret and wooden roof, however nothing remains of this original building. The new church was built on the same site in 1839.

It initially had four galleries, however only the western gallery still stands and houses the church organ. On each side of the inner doorway is a list of the vicars of Broadway, dating back to the 13th century.

Walking along the lanes back to the town center where I was being collected again, I got caught in a flurry of snow. It was cold out and the clouds were heavy so it wasn’t unexpected. Quite fun actually but I was glad of the warmth in the car!

We stopped to look at some of the beautiful homes and scenery en-route to The Slaughters.

 

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