Bridge over the River Windrush
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Bourton-on-the-Water is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England that lies on a wide flat vale within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village had a population of 3,296 inhabitants at the 2011 census making it a rather large village as its population actually exceeds those of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, both of which are considered small market towns.
The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by long wide greens and the River Windrush that runs through them. The river is crossed by five low, arched stone bridges. They were built between 1654 and 1953, leading to the moniker of "Venice of the Cotswolds".
There are two operating houses of worship, Bourton-on-the-Water Baptist Church and St Lawrence, Church of England. The latter is usually open to visitors during the week. It is a Grade II listed building. A part of it was built in the 14th century but major modifications were made in the 1780s and in the late 1800s. 
Educational institutions include Bourton-on-the-Water Primary School and the Cotswold School, a co-educational comprehensive school.
An electoral ward of the same name exists. This ward includes Cold Aston in addition to Bourton. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 3,676. The village itself had 3,296 people; the estimated population in mid 2016 was 3,482.
Bourton-on-the-Water parish is bounded by the Fosse Way along the northwest, while the eastern boundary is defined by a series of brooks, namely: Slaughter Brook, the River Dikler and the River Windrush; the southern boundary is associated with a watercourse that runs between Bourton Hill and Broadwater Bottom.
The earliest evidence of human activity within the Bourton-on-the-Water area was found in the Slaughter Bridge gravel-spread, where Neolithic pottery (dated c. 4000 B.C.) was discovered. Moreover, excavations of the Salmonsbury Camp give evidence of almost continuous habitation through the Neolithic period, the Bronze Age and throughout England's Roman period (c. 43 to 410 A.D.). A Roman road, Icknield Street (also known as Ryknild Street), ran from the Fosse Way at Bourton-on-the-Water to Templeborough in South Yorkshire.  Ancient Roman pottery and coins discovered in the village itself give clear evidence of extended Roman occupation. By the 11th century a Christian church, Norman, was established and the village had developed along the River Windrush much as it is today. Centuries earlier, a Saxon timber church was located on that site since about AD 708, built on the site of an old Roman temple. Some of the St Lawrence church on that site today was built in the 14th century but most of it is from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The village was served by a passenger railway between 1862 and 1962. Tourism did not became a significant factor in the village until the 1920s and 1930s. The Model Village opened in 1937. There was a significant increase in the population between 1931 and 1951.
The houses and shops in the village are constructed of the yellow limestone characteristic of the Cotswolds and they have the embellishments that make Cotswold architecture so picturesque: projecting gables, string-courses, windows with stone mullions, dripmoulds and stone hoodmoulds over the doors.
English Heritage designates 114 buildings within Bourton-on-the-Water; all have Grade II or Grade II* listed status. (Grade II* indicates particularly important buildings of more than special interest.) 
Bourton has a number of tourist attractions:
- During the summer, a game of medieval football is played with goalposts set up in the River Windrush itself. Two teams play with a standard football, and a referee attempts to keep order. Crowds line the banks of the river, and the aim is to score as many goals as possible (while getting everyone else as wet as possible)
- The model village is a 1:9 replica of the village and includes a model of the model village itself (a model within a model). It was built by local craftsmen in the 1930s, and opened in 1937.
- The model railway
- The Cotswold Motoring Museum (home of Brum)
- Birdland Park and Gardens, which has a collection of birds, from penguins through parrots to passerine (perching) birds and a large pond full of salmon which can be fed by the public. There are bird-of-prey displays and a penguin feeding demonstration
- The Dragonfly Maze, designed by Kit Williams
- On the fourth Sunday of each month, there is a farmers' market
Bourton-on-the-Water was first served by rail with the opening of the Bourton-on-the-Water railway in 1862; this was a branch line from Kingham on the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (OWWR). The station was situated just to the north of the village. The OWWR (and its branch) later amalgamated with the Great Western Railway (GWR), and in 1881, the branch was extended westwards, and formed part of the GWR's Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Railway. The station closed to passengers in 1962, and to goods in 1964.
The closest operating railway station now is in Moreton-in-Marsh. The heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway uses part of the route of the former Great Western Railway's main line in the Cotswolds; it does not pass through the village.
- Actor Wilfrid Hyde-White was born in Bourton-on-the-Water in 1903
- Racing cyclist Sharon Laws, who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, grew up in the village.
- Major General Dudley Johnson, British Army officer and Victoria Cross recipient, was born here in 1884 and fought in the First World War (1914–18).
- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Conservation Area Statement" (PDF). Cotswold District Council. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "History of Bourton-on-the-Water". Cotswolds Info. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Local Plan". Cotswold District Council. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "12 tiny villages which are drowning in tourists". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "St Lawrence Church". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER". City Population. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- C. R. Elrington, ed. (1965). "Parishes: Bourton-on-the-Water". A History of the County of Gloucester:volume 6. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "Roman Wickhamford". The Badsey Society. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire". Britain Express. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Conservation Area Statement" (PDF). Cotswold District Council, June 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Tourist Information Guide". Cotswolds Info. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "The Most Sustainable Principal Settlements: Bourton-on-the-Water". Cotswold Local Plan. Cotswold District Council. 2001. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- Historic England. "Scheduled Monuments (1017340)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
- "Listed Buildings". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Listed Buildings". English Heritage. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Things to Do in Bourton-on-the-Water". TripAdvisor. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- The Old New Inn website: the Model Village Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Los Angeles Times
- Hall, Danny (23 June 2016). "CYCLING: Olympian Sharon Laws from Bourton enjoying her farewell season with Podium Ambition". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
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