|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
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The Old School House is a beautiful, historic house, dating back to 1869 and located in the Conservation Area of the idyllic Cotswold village of Lower Swell, just one mile from Stow-on-the-Wold. Originally built for the village school mistress, the house contains various character features, including a large fireplace, with wood burning stove, original walk-in pantry and a romantic bathroom with clawfoot bath and stone fireplace. Complementing these period features, The Old School House has been decorated, furnished and equipped in a warm and contemporary style, making the house a perfect holiday choice for families or groups of friends.
The Old School House sleeps up to 12 people in five bedrooms – see bedroom configuration below. There are two family bathrooms. Off street parking for up to five cars is available.
The Old School House is situated at the end of a short lane, from which the garden is accessed. A path through the garden takes you to the front door of the house, which leads to:
•Kitchen/dining room: The kitchen and adjoining dining room are the heart of the house, with the dining room containing a large wooden table that comfortably seats 12 guests. The dining room also contains a book library and a large selection of games. The kitchen is bright and spacious, and is equipped to a high standard, including a cooker with ceramic hob, microwave, fridge, freezer, dishwasher and coffee machine. Adjoining the kitchen is a walk in pantry and a utility room, containing a washing machine and tumble dryer.
From the dining room, a door leads to the:
•Living room: The large, yet cozy living room contains a wood burning stove (initial logs provided), a TV with a home cinema system and Freesat HD, and comfy seating for 12. There are also two portable iPod docks.
A door from the living room leads to stairs to the first floor:
•Bedroom 1: Double bed;
•Bathroom: Beautiful roll top bath, basin and toilet, with stone fireplace;
From the first floor landing, stairs go up to the second floor:
•Bedroom 2: Contains a double bed and a single bed;
•Bedroom 3: Double bed. This bedroom is accessed via bedroom 2.
Returning to the dining room, another set of stairs leads to:
•Bedroom 4: Double bed;
•Bathroom: Bath with overhead electric shower, basin and toilet;
•Bedroom 5: Contains an antique Victorian double bed and a single divan bed.
Returning to the kitchen, the front door leads out directly into a fabulous, peaceful garden, with distant views towards the church in Stow-on-the-Wold. The enclosed garden has a flagstone terrace, with teak garden furniture and a charcoal barbecue, overlooking the lawn and shaded woodland areas. All the main rooms in the house look out onto the lovely gardens.
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Lower Swell is a beautiful Cotswold village located on the River Dikler, one mile from Stow-on-the-Wold. The village has a tranquil green, mellow stone cottages and is surrounded by stunning countryside.
Lower Swell contains a traditional Cotswold pub, the Golden Ball Inn, which serves fresh food and local ales. Srow-on-the-Wold is one of the main Cotswold market towns and contains numerous, shops, pubs and restaurants – see below for further information.
In 1086 the manor of Lower Swell was owned by Raoul II of Tosny and William II, Count of Eu. In the 13th century the Lower Swell manor was sold to Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall (formally 'King of the Romans', from 1257). In the 16th century it was exchanged back and forth between the Crown and the Bishop of London. Other notable owners include Sir Robert Atkyns, who was an English Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Lords. His son, also Sir Robert Atkyns, lived in Lower Swell and wrote “Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire”.
In the Middle Ages the village's name was Little Swell. Documents indicate that the village was well developed by the 17th century, although it was probably well developed much earlier.
There are a few ancient ancient burial chambers located around Lower Swell. Some of them are marked with menhirs - standing stones. One of these stones is named the Whittlestone. There is a local legend that the Whittlestone once belonged to an immovable megalith, from which any stones moved would return to their initial places the morning after they are moved. The Whittlestone was moved, however, and contrary to the legend it remains at the location that it was moved to in the centre of Lower Swell. Another legend states that the Whittlestone is a moving megalith, and every night, 'when the Whistlestone hears Stow clock (a mile off) strike 12, it goes down to Lady-well (and the hill’s foot) to drink”.
Sitting elegantly in the middle of the world famous Cotswold’s countryside, Stow-on-the-Wold is the quintessential English market town. Stow is a natural and historic meeting place, with a fine selection of 16th century Cotswold stone shops, luxury hotels, chic bistros, inns, elegant manor house hotels and cosy teashops.
Along with Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-in-the-Water, Stow is one of the best known of the small Cotswold towns. It is the highest point in the Cotswolds, standing on top of an 800 feet hill, and is situated at the meeting place of seven roads, including the Roman Fosse Way, which runs from Exeter to Lincoln in an almost straight line.
Iron Age people were the first to settle in Stow, but there is also evidence of earlier settlements in this part of the Cotswolds, as Stone Age and Bronze Age burial mounds are common throughout the area. The first name of the town was St. Edward's Stowe or Holy Place, named after a Saxon missionary. The word 'wold' as in ‘Cotswold’ means hills, so Stow-on-the-Wold simply means Holy Place on the Hill.
Stow-on-the-Wold in the 21st century looks quite a lot like Stow-on-the-Wold in the 17th century. It is the hub and service town for a rural community, but has maintained its traditional character. Stow is largely a town of small independent businesses, rather than the large chains that make many towns in England look the same.
It is this traditional character, and therefore individuality, combined with the beautiful honey-coloured Cotswold stone buildings, that make Stow so popular with tourists looking for ‘picture-postcard’ England. The town’s tourist trade makes it possible for Stow to support many more good hotels, B&B’s, pubs and restaurants than most other towns with a population of around 2,000.
Stow has been famous for many years as a centre for the antiques trade and in the last few years clusters of art galleries and fashionable clothing shops have added further character to the town centre.