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The hills give their name to the Cotswold local-government district in Gloucestershire, which administers a large part of the area.The highest point of the region is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), During the Middle Ages, thanks to the breed of sheep known as the Cotswold Lion, the Cotswolds became prosperous from the wool trade with the continent, with much of the money made from wool directed towards the building of churches.
In 2000, the government confirmed that AONBs had the same landscape quality and status as National Parks.
However, the English Place-Name Society has for many years accepted that the term Cotswold is derived from Codesuualt of the 12th century or other variations on this form, the etymology of which was given, 'Cod's-wold', which is 'Cod's high open land'.
It has subsequently been noticed that "Cod" could derive philologically from a Brittonic female cognate "Cuda", a hypothetical mother goddess in Celtic mythology postulated to have been worshipped in the Cotswold region.
The Cotswolds is an area in south central England containing the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills which rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale.
The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden coloured Cotswold stone.
The Cotswolds AONB, which is the largest in England and Wales, stretches from the border regions of South Warwickshire and Worcestershire, through West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and takes in parts of Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset in the south.