Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places

Snowshill Manor

Snowshill Manor is one of the best known manor houses in the Cotswolds, and is certainly the most famous landmark near the village of Snowshill.  Located in Gloucestershire near Broadway, Snowshill was originally owned by the Winchcombe Abbey from 821 until 1539.  That was the year of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, after which Henry VIII took over the property.  It changed hands a number of times over the next several centuries, and was eventually taken by Charles Paget Wade, a famous architect, craftsman and collector.  Once he had charge of Snowshill, he made it his task to restore the property in full.  Today Snowshill Manor still houses his diverse and fascinating collections.

 While the house itself is quite beautiful, Wade’s collections are perhaps the main draw to tourists, who come to see his 26 samurai armor suits, instruments, bicycles, toys and other assorted items of interest.  Wade was known to be a flamboyant and mysterious person.  He entertained many famous guests in his manor house including J.B. Priestley, Virginia Woolf, John Buchan and others.  J. B. Priestley famously described Wade as, “My eccentric, but charming friend of the fantastic manor house.”

Snowshill itself is a small village and not among the better known destinations in the Cotswolds, though it does offer some off-the-beaten-path charm.  As you might guess from its name, Snowshill is situated atop a hill which overlooks the countryside of Broadway, Laverton and Buckland, and during the colder months of the year, if snow is going to collect anywhere, it collects in Snowshill first.  While you’re visiting the Snowshill Manor, you  might choose to stay in Snowshill or in one of the other nearby market towns.  Snowshill may be recognizable to you from the filming of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  From the hillside vantage point, Snowshill offers lovely views of the tree-covered hillsides, Snowshill Manor is also known for the Lavender Fields nearby.  There are many wonderful accommodations in town, and while you’re staying in Snowshill you’ll definitely want to visit the Snowshill Arms Pub.

Snowshill Manor

Cotswold Towns and Villages Gloucestershire


Snowshill is the name of a small village that sits atop a hill above Broadway, Laverton, and Buckland.  The village is quiet, secluded, and not particularly well known in its own right it is more well known for the Snowshill Lavender Fields.  The name of the village derives from its location.  If there is any snow, it tends to fall on the hilltop first, and therefore on the village of Snowshill.  Snowshill is best known for being the home of the Snowshill manor house which is cared for by the National Trust.  It’s a very good example of a 15th-16th century manor house and has some lovely grounds as well as a delicious restaurant and a pleasant little teashop.

While Snowshill manor is the main thing to see in the village, you may recognize some of its familiar and scenic streets, which were used in the filming of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  The surrounding countryside also offers many breathtaking and beautiful vistas of the Cotswolds.  The vantage point of the hillside makes it easy to see the green landscape for miles in every direction.  There are many beautiful trees which cover the hillsides in this area as well, and in the fall time they are particularly lovely as they change colors.  The Snowshill Arms Pub is another well-known location in town where you can drop in and get a nice cool drink.

While you’re visiting the Snowshill manor house, you can look for accommodations in the village.  This is a nice, off-the-beaten-path location where you can enjoy escaping from the crowds if you’re visiting during the tourist season.  Since Snowshill is less busy than some of the surrounding locations, it may give you a better idea of what life is really like in the English countryside throughout the year.

You also might choose to stay in one of the nearby towns since they both will put you within easy reach of the attractions at Snowshill.  Broadway is quite well known, particularly for the nearby Broadway Tower, which is a folly on top of a hill and the second highest point in the Cotswolds.  The Broadway Tower is an architectural gem which is quite different from the Snowshill manor, and which will provide you with additional insights into England’s past.

Broadway, being a larger market town, has more accommodations than you might find in Snowshill alone, so you may find more options there if the hotels and bed and breakfast establishments in Snowshill are booked up.  There are also many more restaurants and shops in town which you can enjoy during your visit, as well as additional draws like the Church of St. Eadburgha, a historic building which has stood since the 12th century and continues to serve as a working church today.

Snowshill, Broadway, and the surrounding area should be a stop on any trip to the Cotswolds.  While the Snowshill manor house and the Broadway Tower are the main attractions, the towns themselves can offer much to entertain you and you’ll remember them fondly for years to come.

Snowshill Wikipedia