Moreton In Marsh is a pretty market town built mainly of the honey-coloured stone quarried from the local area, in the north Gloucestershire Cotswolds.
The name is said to derive from the old English Moreton for a farm on the moor and ‘in Marsh’ possibly from henne and mersh, from a marsh used by birds.
History of Moreton in Marsh
The broad High Street has the Fosse Way, a major Roman road from the south coast to Lincoln lying beneath the modern surface.
There is evidence of settlements here dating back to Iron Age times. The town itself dates back over a thousand years to Saxon times. Nowadays this small market town has a population of around 4000 inhabitants.
Moreton-in-Marsh was also well placed for the old coaching route from London to Worcester and the town became a popular stopping place for stagecoaches, hence several coaching inns that still exist in the thriving market town, which was given its Saxon Charter over 1000 years ago when it was part of the region known as Mercia.
The Four Shires Stone about two miles out of the town was the meeting place of four regions, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.
Moreton-in-Marsh was granted a market charter in 1227 and the weekly market still takes place each Tuesday. Like many of the towns and villages in the Cotswolds wool and cloth making was the source of income during the medieval years thus many of the buildings along the main street date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Buildings of interest
There are several buildings of architectural interest including The White Hart Royal where King Charles I is reputed to have stayed there during the English Civil War. It still exists to this day as one of a number of places to stay in the town.
The Market Hall built by the Redesdales from nearby Batsford House, the Curfew tower on the junction of High Street and Oxford Street and St David’s Church.
The modern town has a good selection of small independent shops, with no famous brand names or large high street chains – teashops, restaurants, antiques and art galleries all stretch along the town’s High Street and in the small shopping arcade.
Moreton-in-Marsh is situated the head of the Evenlode valley on the Fosse Way.
It’s on the junction of the A429 (Fosse Way) and A44
The town also has a train station that is on the Cotswolds line, lying between the stations of Kingham and Honeybourne and currently serviced by Great Western Trains.
There are public conveniences next to the Redesdale Hall – make sure that you have some change on you, as there is a 20p charge to use them.
The Wellington Aviation and Art Museum is a haven for enthusiasts of World War II memorabilia including paintings, prints, models and aircraft history, with the proceeds going to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The museum records the history of RAF Moreton-in-Marsh; a flight training station for RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War and over recent years has become the Gloucestershire Fire Brigades training headquarters.
There are also lots of other things to do in and around the town.