Upper Slaughter is a 20-minute walk from its sister village of Lower Slaughter. The name is not to be confused with “Great Slaughter” a fictitious village featured in the popular television series “Sister Boniface” – the crime-cracking nun! The place has also been a location for “Father Brown”, for those of us who follow the other mystery detective comedy drama series.
In fact, Upper Slaughter is known as a “Doubly Thankful Village”. It is one of only 14 villages in the entire country not to have lost anyone in either World War I or World War II. The River Eye runs through the village and is crossed by little stone foot bridges (and a ford for vehicles). We visited St Peter’s Church, which was restored in 1877, although it is mostly 12th century. There is a 14th century Easter Sepulchre, ancient carvings and Tudor brasses amongst the historic artefacts inside. Within the village the original alms-houses were reconstructed in 1906 by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, but no building work has taken place since.
The largest building is the “Lords of the Manor Hotel”, which dates back to 1649. This luxury hotel is set in 8 acres of lawns and grandiose gardens. You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy fine dining for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea.
This hotel is not actually the real Manor House of Upper Slaughter, which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. In the 12th century, the manor became the property of Slaughter family. The name is a mispronunciation of the Old English word “slothre”, which means muddy or miry place. There is nothing muddy about the place – it is beautiful!