2. Case Study: Cotswold Escarpment

The area selected for the project was a 100km swathe of the Cotswold Escarpment, centred upon the village of Cranham (NGR: SO896129) between Leckhampton hillfort in the north, Stroud in the south, Haresfield Beacon in the west and Brimpsfield in the east (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3: Map illustrating the extent of the project study area.

The dominant solid geology of the project area is oolitic limestone of the Greater and Inferior Oolite Group, with smaller pockets of mudstone bedrock along its western periphery. Drift geology consists of small pockets of alluvium and Cheltenham sands and gravel (British Geological Survey 2012). The project area straddles the interface of two principal geographical zones; the Severn Valley and the Cotswolds Hills. The Severn Valley is a low-lying area with undulating clay punctured by gravel terraces and islands highly suitable for settlement. To the east, the Cotswolds Hills are limestone uplands with a maximum height of 310m above sea level, descending gradually eastwards (Darvill 2011, 30-1).


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