At the southern gateway to the Cotswolds there is a perfectly flat topped hill that is surrounded by the River Avon, and on top of this hill sits the ‘Queen of Hilltop Towns’, Malmesbury. The town is widely regarded as one of Britain’s oldest continually inhabited settlements and has a rich history stretching back over a thousand years.
Malmesbury Abbey is one of the best testaments to the town’s history, dating back to 676, when it was founded as a Benedictine monastery. The surviving part of the abbey’s nave is still used today as a place of worship dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, but much of the rest of the abbey still survives and it, and its ruins, attracts many visitors each year.
The rich history of Malmesbury can be seen in the town itself; the traditional Saxon layout of the town is still intact and there is an abundance of Grade I and II listed buildings. A substantial stone octagon, the Market Cross, stands proudly in the town centre, the medieval Tower House where King Henry VIII is said to have dined after hunting in the area can be found at the end of Oxford Street and the smallest church in Britain, the beautiful Bremilham Church, can be found to the west of Malmesbury.
The Athelstan Museum tells the rich history of the town, including the tale of the first ‘King of all England’, whose remains are interned at the Abbey. Highgrove Estate, nearby, is the home of The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and its famous organic produce can be enjoyed in the nearby farm shop.
So if you are after an escape to the Cotswolds that is fit for a King, then search for cottages in Malmesbury today.