Places to Visit
Enjoy a day out in Cirencester and visit some of the following highlights of the town, including ...
St. Michael's Park, King Street, Cirencester
The Park is managed by Cirencester Town Council and is a gem of a facility, which lies within walking distance of the town centre. The Park has been designed to provide a range of facilities for all ages, including an adventure play ground, tennis courts, mini golf, croquet and boules. A barbecue is also available for hire.
The Park is open daily from 9.00 a.m, except in inclement weather conditions and no dogs, except guide dogs, are permitted.
Abbey Grounds, just off the Market Place, Cirencester
The grounds contain the site of St Mary's Abbey which was consecrated in 1176 in the presence of Henry II, remaining until the Dissolution in 1539 when the Abbey was completely demolished. The only remaining building is the Norman Arch situated at the north-eastern corner of the grounds.
Originally, apart from the abbey buildings of church, cloisters and various residences for the Abbot, canons and lay brothers there were 2 sets of farm buildings in the bounds now marked by the far side of the lake (the former trout lake for the abbey), Dollar Street and Spitalgate Lane. The rest of the grounds were used as gardens and to grow food for the abbey.
Until 1963 some of the old farm and abbey buildings were still present, but these were removed to make way for the housing seen today.
The open grounds, lake, wildfowl, trees and greenery form an impressive pastoral centrepiece, inviting restful contemplation of the general town scene. A portion of ancient Roman Wall is also situated in the grounds.
The bandstand in the grounds was completed in 1999 as a millennium project and band performances take place throughout the summer.
Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester
Located at the heart of Cirencester, the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. Our principal collection consists of the highly significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium Dobunnorum. However, the museum today is much more than that, taking the visitor on a journey through time and charting the development of the Cotswolds from its prehistoric landscape to the modern day.
The light and modern galleries offer the visitor an exceptional interactive experience. The museum is renowned for its learning provision, with an education centre and temporary exhibition space that ensure a vibrant, changing programme of events and activities for everyone to enjoy.
The museum is fully accessible with a shop and café on site. It is also home to the Cirencester Visitor Information Centre where you can get tickets for local events and coach tours, book accommodation and find information on local attractions, activities and transport.
New Brewery Arts, Brewery Court, Cirencester
This beautiful former brewery is a busy creative paradise in the heart of the Cotswolds. Open all year round we welcome visitors’ young and old, artists, wannabe artists, enthusiasts, first time triers, present buyers and everyone who likes cake.
Our Craft Shop is home to the Best of British craft – ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, wood, metal prints and cards. Our award winning Café produces delicious salads, soups, sandwiches and lunch time specials. And our cakes are superb! All our food is home made on the premises. We exhibit the work of makers from all over the country and beyond in our elegant Galleries, with an annual programme of visual arts and craft exhibitions.
Wander around the courtyard and up to our lofty second floor to find our 10 studios, all abuzz with artist makers at the top of their game: glass blowers, handloom weaver, jeweller, ceramicist, furniture designer and stone carver, stained glass, textiles and mixed media artists.
Inspired? You too can join an art or craft Workshop in one of our four dedicated Education Rooms. We teach everything from pottery to stained glass, stone carving to felt making and so much more. Adults and children’s classes, daytime, evenings and weekends. Our excellent tutors will nurture your emerging talent in small classes.
AND April 2016 we open The Barrel Store our contemporary, Overnight Accommodation, for visitors to enjoy everything we and the Cotswolds have to offer. The former stone barrel warehouse is now a stylish and brilliantly located ‘boutique hostel’. Comfortable, and affordable we have a mix of 14 single, double and family rooms, (most en-suite), self-catering kitchen/lounge. Also available for exclusive hire – perfect for large get-togethers and occasions.
Open all year round, some seasonal variations – see website for details.
9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday. Open Sundays from 10 April.
95% accessible by wheelchair (lift, ramps, and disabled toilets)
Disabled parking is in the adjoining Brewery car park
Well behaved dogs welcome.
Long stay car parking in Sheep Street (follow the brown and white signs)
Tel: 01285 657181
Corn Hall, Market Place, Cirencester
The beautifully refurbished Corn Hall and Corn Hall Arcade are now fully open. Weekly events taking place during the day in the Corn Hall, include:
Wednesdays - Home & Garden Bazaar (fashion, jewellery, rugs, plants and other home accessories)
Thursdays - Food and Drink Market (fresh meat, fish, fruit & veg, chutney, oils & plants)
Fridays - Antiques and Collectables Market
Saturdays - Craft Markets (The Original Craftsman's Market and The Cotswold Craft Market, they run on alternate Saturdays
If you would like to be part of any of the above please contact Augusta Wreay on 07970 859703 or 01285 740641.
Roman Amphitheatre, Cotswold Avenue, Cirencester
West of the town, and now separated from it by the ring road, are the fine remains of the Roman Amphitheatre. This is one of the best preserved in Britain - the large oval arena with its twin entrances and sloping earthen banks is plainly visible amongst the disturbed landscape of the Querns area which used as a stone quarry throughout the Roman and later periods.
Sports and other mass entertainments were held in the amphitheatre, which was built early in the 2nd century as part of a grand scheme of Roman town planning. At its best it was decorated in imported marble and marble-effect plasterwork, handsome stone gateways and stone stairways. The seating is thought to have probably been wood.
After the Roman period it was variously used as a defended campsite, an area for quartering armies, a king's temporary palace; the stone was recycled as with most of the building materials in the old Roman town. Locally it is still often referred to as the Bull Ring which may indicate a later use still.
The amphitheatre is best approached from Sheep Street and Querns Hill into Cotswold Avenue. A leaflet and map, the Whereat Trail, are available from the Local Information Centre.
"Wartime Life in the Cotswolds", Sheep Street, Cirencester
Air Raid Shelter and Home Front Exhibitions at The Old Memorial Hospital Cottages and the Air Raid Shelter in Sheep Street. The Air Raid shelter exhibition relates to its original function for the hospital and general air raid precautions. It also includes local air fields and military units, including the major US military hospitals and their involvement with D-Day and Arnhem operations etc. The Old Hospital Cottages exhibition of the Home Front includes most aspects of wartime civilian life, including a substantial collection of wartime toys. The Civil Defence Services, the Land Army and the Home Guard are also included.
Access from Sheep Street Car Park behind Tesco. Open every Saturday from 1st Saturday in May to 1st Saturday in October. 10.30am to 4.30pm. Admission free, donations welcome! Other times by special arrangement, Tel: 01285 655650 or 01285 650012.
Please also see the website for more information: www.livingmemory.btik.com