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Churchill

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Somerset  /  Churchill
Churchill is a village within the civil parish of Churchill and Sarsden about 3mi southwest of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.HistoryChurchill's toponym has evolved through forms including Cercelle, Churchell, and Cherchell, reaching its current form was in use by 1537. The origin of the name is uncertain, though it may come from the Old English cyrc, meaning a hill, burial ground, or barrow. (The village does contain several barrows, suggesting the existence of a settlement here from prehistoric times.) However, the name may come from Cyrc-hill, literally Hill-hill — a common construction formed by Anglo-Saxon incomers who did not understand the meaning of a Celtic root (cf. the etymology of Pendle Hill).Churchill was originally at the foot of a hill (now known as Hastings Hill), but on 31 July 1684 a fire destroyed twenty houses and many other buildings, and killed four people. The village was rebuilt higher up the hill, with stone houses instead of the old timber-framed and thatched cottages. The fire was apparently caused by a baker who, to avoid chimney tax, had knocked through the wall from her oven to her neighbour's chimney. The old village can still be seen as grassy mounds in the pastures around the Heritage Centre.
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