‘The Capital of the Cotswolds’
Cirencester has the unmistakable air of a lively market town. Its street market, held in the large and impressive Market Place, is still a colourful twice-weekly feature of town life. Regular Farmers markets are also held here.
The town’s origins lie in the Roman period, when as Corinium Dobunnorum, it was one of the regional capitals of Roman Britain. The award-winning Corinium Museum, reopened in 2004 after major refurbishment, tells this story, and although relatively little of the Roman town survives above ground, the large grassed over amphitheatre is worth a visit.
The parish church of St. John Baptist dominates the town centre on a scale which supports its title of ‘Cathedral of the Cotswolds’. One of the fine Cotswold wool churches, it is a lasting symbol of the town’s wealth and influence in medieval England. Its unique three-storied porch is the physical link between church and town. It was the Town Hall until 1897.
Cirencester is an important tourism and crafts centre. The Visitor Information Centre is located at the Corinium Museum. The town boasts an arts centre with workshops in a converted brewery and there are regular craft fairs. It is fortunate too in its open spaces. The Abbey Grounds are situated on the site of the old Abbey of St Mary, and the public are free to wander in the extensive 19th century parkland landscape of Cirencester Park which has been in the Bathurst family’s ownership for over three centuries.
Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1PX
Telephone: 01285 623 000