History

What follows is a brief account of the history of Cirencester. It is by no means the final word. If you read all of the available accounts there are often several different versions of the "facts". If you have more to add please let us know so it may be shared the next time the story is told.

The Name?

There is no clear origin of the name as we know it today, but Korinion was mentioned by the Egyptian-born scholar Ptolemy in his "Geographica" written in about AD 150. It thus seems probable that the Romans adopted the name Corinium from the local tribe the Dubonnii, of the Cornovii peoples.

Some references through the years are to the Romanised name of "Corinium Dobunnorum". There is also a probable connection to the Celtic word, corin, for corn; this is also thought to be the origin of the name Churn for the river which still flows through the town.

By the time of the Domesday Book the Saxon "cester" had been added and it is recorded as the town of Cyrescestre; very similar to the present-day name which is often shortened, unofficially, to "Ciren" or more characteristically "Zoiren"