Our main objective on the third day of our trip was to visit the neolithic longbarrow of Belas Knapp but on the way we passed through Winchcombe where we stopped for a quick look round. The photo above shows a 15th century merchant's house which is now a restaurant, the whole town is full of historic buildings. It is Anglo Saxon in origin and the layout in the centre of the town has remained virtually unchanged since medieval times. If I'd known how interesting it was going to be I'd have allowed more time to look around but we'd only taken an hour in the car park so only had time for a quick sprint round.
Catherine of Aragon the first wife of Henry VIII during a stay at nearby Sudeley Castle. Sudeley is another place on my list of places to go on my next visit to the Cotswolds. The curtains are kept closed to protect the fragile fabrics from the light, a guardian opens them when someone wants to look at the altar cloth.
Here we have a statue which represents King Kenulf who founded the Benedictine Abbey that once stood nearby. The statue isn't very old - 1872 to be exact. It was given to St Peter's by Mrs Emily Dent who paid for the restoration of the church in the 1870s.
Belas Knapp is an early neolithic long barrow and was constructed about 3600/3700BC . It's about 50 metres ( 164 feet) long and 4 metres (13 feet) high. I've borrowed an aerial photograph from English Heritage to give you a proper idea of what it looks like.
The skeletons of five children and a young man were found behind the stones of this portal setting with its projecting horns which formed a forecourt for ceremonial use presumably when burials were taking place. It was also possibly used at certain times of the year for ceremonies connected with the ancestors who were very important to neolithic people. My theory not an official one!