The ancient parish of Mickleton is situated in the county of Gloucestershire and is one of the Cotswolds most northerly villages. It has been called ‘the Gateway to the Cotswolds’. The site of an iron Age fort on Meon Hill testifies of the area’s long history of settlement. Parish registers began in 1590.
Meon Hill scene of the so-called ‘witchcraft’ murder of Charles Walton in 1945, lies to the north of the village. Meon Hill is said to have provided inspiration for Tolkien‘s ‘Weathertop‘ from The Lord of the Rings. According to legend, Meon Hill was formed by the Devil. He intended to throw a clod of earth at Evesham Abbey, but missed, and the earth formed the hill.
The Church of St Lawrence is an Anglican parish church. It contains a memorial to Utrecia Smith, the daughter of a curate of Mickleton whose father was also a schoolmaster. Utrecia had been the fiancée of the writer Richard Graves (who broke off their engagement); she died in 1744 aged 30.
Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the manor was leased from the crown to the Porter family who established a charity that still provides support for the church and the school. The Poor Land’s Charity of 1612 provided land for the parish that is well used and cared for by allotment holders.
Located throughout the village are several wells, which nowadays are planted with flowers and looked after by individual villagers. Water came to the village in 1898.
Sited on a green in front of the hotel is a memorial fountain by the Victorian architect William Burges ARA 1827 – 20 1881. He is considered to be among the greatest of the Victorian English art-architects.
Both the Anglican and Methodist churches house a war memorial in the form of a scroll of honour naming all the dead of the First and Second World Wars.
The Anglican churchyard has the grave of a Belgian soldier who died of wounds inflicted in the 1914-18 War. Belgian soldiers were evacuated by sea after the Battle of Yser. Norton Hall in Mickleton was turned into a hospital and housed many of the evacuees. A tree in Baker’s Wood has a carving of a Belgian soldier dated 1914. This was discovered about fourteen years ago and has been nurtured ever since.
Burnt Norton to the south of the parish was visited by T.S. Eliot and provided him with inspiration for the famous Four Quartets, one of which is named Burnt Norton.