A week in the Cotswolds-what a beautiful place. 2 days we spent looking into the Cope history in the area. First we went to Avebury, which is like Stonehenge, but bigger and less crowded. My ancestor, Oliver Cope, was a nonconformist (a Quaker I believe), and due to persecution left there in 1681 to sail to the new colony with William Penn and settle with a piece of property (250 acres for 5 shillings- damned good land man). I can also trace back to the American revolution from both my parents. I believe we fought for both sides of the revolution on the Cope side. I found no additional info in the little hamlet of Avebury, but will try to get hold of the priest from the town church at a later time. We also visited the hamlet of Hanwell to see Hanwell castle. William Cope began building it in 1498, the year he had received the manor of Hanwell from the Duke of Suffolk. It is the earliest example of a brick building in north Oxfordshire. The Cope family had links with Catherine Parr (1512–48), the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet entertained James I at Hanwell House in 1605 and 1612, and at the castle Sir William Cope, 2nd Baronet entertained James I in 1616 and Charles I in 1637. Probably boring to most but here is more- my tree is traced back to 1355 England to Sir John Cope. There were 4 Knights in the Cope family of Oliver and at least 2 Coat of Arms. 18 Copes of England are listed as Baronets and there are 2 Cope castles built 1600s, one being in Hanwell. The Copes’ were listed as the largest land owners in the 1600s England. They married into at least 2 kings of Eng. families John ” Lackland ” king of Eng d) 1216 and Edward 1 st d) 1307. A William Cope (grt grd-son of Sir John 1355 ) was awarded his Coat of Arms at the battle of Bosworth Aug 1485 ( War of the Roses ). He was a Knight to Kings Richard the III and Henry the VII. There are 3 US Presidents related to Olivers family in England. ( I give the genealogical credit to my sister, Chrissy.)
I got to Hanwell castle expecting to see very little as my research showed that most of it was demolished and what remained was split into multiple pieces owned by different people. I was surprised to see it in good shape and under reconstruction and refurbishment. It is listed as a historical site and requires certain type of refurbishment. The current owner had bought out and consolidated the different pieces over the last 30 years. They started the reconstruction work 5 years ago and are due to finish soon. There were at least 20 workers there of different trades. The current owner was happy to see me, knew the history of the Cope’s, and let me wander the property for pics (see below- none inside as it was still a hard hat area with lots of workers present ). From talking to several of the workmen I’m estimating that they have $20-25MM into the property. I believe they have a place in London which is not a long drive away.
If you’re not completely bored by now- we toured Shakespeare’s town, Stratford upon Avon. On a side note I started a reading campaign when I retired with two separate lists of the top 100 books to read (one from readers and one from editors). I had never read for enjoyment but I’ve gotten through about 50-60 of them and most were well worth it. The only ones I checked out but returned without reading much were those by Willy Shakespeare. Hard to read and hard to understand equals no enjoyment to me. I guess I am just not cultured.
We visited several other castles and country homes with some pics below . The Cotswolds were great and personally fulfilling. Kicked back on the last day- went to a movie- new Planet of the Apes. Now on to North Wales for a week.
Chedworth Roman Villa 11 pics- uncovered by the landowner on this estate years agoRoman mosaic floors of a dining roomguide on left giving us a tourhot air ran under the floors for heat- this was the subfloor Roman crossbow with rolls of rope for the tension- animal skins were probably used- arrow could go through several people without armor or incapacitate one with armorCotswolds roads still narrow but hedgerows and/or walls were further back than in Cornwallpark down the street in Cheltenham Avebury stone monument larger than Stonehenge- 9 picsAvebury churchrestored Avebury manor housestone monument tourSt James church in Avebury- still in useWarwick Castle- After the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror established the castle at Warwick in 1068 it was involved with the Wars of the Roses which were a series of wars for control of the throne of England fought between the House of Lancaster (associated with a red rose), and the House of York (whose symbol was a white rose). 24 pics
peacock gardenpeacock gardenmedieval trebuchet demoviews from the topStratford Upon Avon-13pics 1st is Willie’s homeold (left) and new part of Royal Shakespeare Company theatercool houseRoyal Shakespeare Company theaterAnne Hathaway’s cottage- Shakespeare’s wifeWillie’s statue-2 picsstatues of several of his worksHanwell Castle- built by the Cope family- 25 pics walking around outsideone of several lakes on propertyhead groundskeeper- worked on the property got over 30 yearsbig church about 30 yards up a hill in the back yard but part of the estateseveral pics from a a few feet inside the front door- refurbished floor and walls still covered to protect while finishing touches are doneCroome estate- used to be home to the earl of Coventry- it was used an an airfield in WWII along with the site for the new radar system- used as a Catholic boys school- bought by George Harruson for the Hare Krishna- bought by developers who tried to tear it down before the locals stepped in and wouldn’t approve it- now it’s been refurbished some-11 pics- 1st pic is the church on the propertymain house-4 picsTemple Greenhouselake on propertyTemple GreenhouseChurch of St Magdalene on the property- 3 pics