For some reason, a house with a thatched roof is 110% better than a house with any other kind of roof. There are many kinds of roofs in this world: slate roofs, metal roofs, glass roofs, shingle roofs, bark roofs, even roofs of living grass. But there’s something about a thatched roof that captures the imagination. 

Lattice windows. Ancient hedges. Fragrant roses. China teacups. Cottage gardens.  

Taste of the Cotswolds: Part 3

When I visited Chipping Campden with my family we made a beeline for Sheep Street, a quiet road chock full of thatched houses, each one more charming than the last. We gasped, pointed, and clicked our shutter buttons until our fingers grew sore. If you’re ever in the area, I insist that you visit Sheep Street. Supposedly the village of Stanton also has some beautiful examples of thatch.

This might be the most beautiful private garden I’ve ever seen. The house behind it is roofed in Cotswold limestone.

Thatched roofs are definitely a status symbol. I’ve read that they’re incredibly expensive to maintain, which is ironic considering that thatched roofs were once a mark of poverty. Even today, straw and reeds are the only roofing material available for many people in developing countries. 

It’s like wholemeal bread: at one time the mark of the peasant, today the mark of the health-conscious yuppie.  

Contrary to what you might believe, the Cotswolds are not littered with thatched houses. In fact, they’re relatively rare. The most common roofs are of limestone tiles, which are certainly beautiful (especially when covered with moss), but not as special as that sought-after thatch.

Perhaps it’s the artistry that draws us so, or maybe it’s because they look so cozy. Just the right sort of place to snuggle up in front of a roaring fire with a good book.

Read “Taste of the Cotswolds” Part 1 and Part 2


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Written by Abigail Young

I've had a passion for everything British my entire life, despite being raised as a small-town girl in the American Midwest, After years of dreaming, I got the chance to live and work in England for an entire year. Now I write about my favorite country, and hopefully inspire my fellow Britophiles to get over there and experience it for themselves.

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