Guiting Power is a small Gloucestershire village (population of around 300), with a tricky to pronounce name.
The village is in the upper reaches of the Windrush Valley, built on the site of an Anglo Saxon settlement called Gyting Broc, dating back to around the 8th century.
Over 50% of the houses in the village are owned and rented out by the Guiting Manor Amenity Trust. Most of the houses and other buildings are built from the traditional honey coloured Cotswold stone that is traditionally associated with the area.
What’s in a name?
Guiting (pronounced gitting) comes from the Saxon word getinge, which meant rushing and also features in the name of the nearby village of Temple Guiting. It’s possibly a reference to the river Windrush that flows through the valley below the village.
The Power bit comes from the lePohers, who were the lords of the manor that the village is based on, dating back to the time of Edward the Confessor.
Fortunately for the weary traveller, despite its small size, the village has two pubs, the Farmers Arms and the Hollow Bottom.
The Hollow Bottom is at the north western end of the village and recently became part of the Lucky Onion group of establishments.
We haven’t had the opportunity to visit since the takeover but they describe themselves as ‘Gloucestershire’s Premier Racing Pub’ on their website.
Guiting Power is of course, quite close to Cheltenham, home of the famous horse racing festival.
The Farmers Arms is a traditional pub at the other end of the village, serving food and ales and a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
So wherever you are in the village, it’s not far to go if you need a drink.
Two pubs, two churches
In addition to its two pubs, the village also has two churches.
Just at the southern entrance to the village is the Anglo-Saxon church of St Michael’s and All Angels, parts of which date back to Norman times. It’s now a Grade II listed building.
Towards the other end of the village is Guiting Power Baptist Church.
The village also has its own post office, village hall, guest house and a couple of shops.
Whilst it might seem surprising to have so many facilities in and around such a small village, it was a larger village, perhaps up until the start of the 20th century. Sadly a decline in the farming industry brought with it a decline of the village.
Other things to do
As with many Cotswolds villages there are numerous walking routes and footpaths that pass nearby, for example the 14 mile Warden’s Way that links the Oxford Way at Bourton on the Water with the Cotswold Way in Winchcombe.
Cotswold Farm Park
Adam Henson (of BBC Countryfile fame)’s Cotswold Farm Park is less than 3 miles away from Guiting Power. A working farm that also opens as a visitor attraction and has guest accommodation on site.
Or if golf is more your thing, Naunton Downs Golf club is even closer still, at just under 2 miles away.
Back from the brink
By the middle of the 20th Century many of the houses in the village had fallen into disrepair.
It was only thanks to the renovation work of Moyra Davidson and subsequently the Guiting Manor charitable trust that the village was able to recover and thrive, as it does to this day.