Preston, Cotswold, Gloucestershire UK
Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Dot Warren. I was born in Edinburgh and lived there until my early twenties, when I travelled to London for my career after university. I am retired now after a career in human relations, company administration and fundraising research. My husband is a retired financial director in industry. Our two children live abroad, in California and Norway, with two children each. My interests cover travel, enjoying a wide circle of family and friends worldwide and services to my community (I edit the monthly newsletter and in addition I have compiled a weekly bulletin of help and support during the pandemic). We have lived in the village of Preston for forty-four years and have seen huge changes in that time.'
Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'We moved here all that time ago for my husband’s job and have not needed to move during the various changes to our lifestyle and work. It is very centrally placed for travel to London, The South West of England, Edinburgh and Scotland!'
What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'The walk down the only street, past the village hall and rows of age-old cottages to our Millennium Stone that depicts the two dates and record of inhabitants (In 1000AD there were one-hundred and in 2000AD there were two-hundred and fifty). From there, following the avenue of lime trees lining the church path that leads into the ancient churchyard.'
What is Preston proud of?
'The church in the village, All Saints Church seems to originate in the 13th century, but traces of earlier periods exist. Valuable 17th century silverware has recently been taken to display in the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.'
Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'Originally Preston was a feudal community listed in the Domesday Book of 1086-7. Many of the cottages in the centre of our rural community are numbered. These were the numbers of the cottages provided for the estate workers for Abbey Estates owned by The Chester-Master family whose seat was on the site of the ruins of Cirencester Abbey in Cirencester.
Preston is called ‘Prestitune’ in The Domesday Book which was completed at the end of the 1080s. The name would have been Saxon and we can make a reasonable guess that it meant ‘Priest's town'. The name Prest is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a priest, having derived from the Old English word preost, which means priest. ‘Tune’ or ‘toun’ was likely to be the common popular term for what we may describe in general language as a rural centre of population.
The village is situated at the crossing between the Roman roads of Ermin Street and The Fosseway. There is a toll bar at the north end of the village. Cirencester (known as Corinium during the Roman occupation) was among the second most important cities in England, after London.'