On the outskirts of the Cotswold town of Cirencester are the massive earthwork remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain. It was built in the early 2nd century, when the Roman city of Corinium (now Cirencester) was second only to London in size and importance, with a population of over 10,000. The amphitheatre could hold about 8,000 spectators. After the Roman army left Britain, it was fortified against Saxon invaders.
Chedworth Roman Villa
Tetbury, an historic wool town, is the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. The town is known as an architectural gem with many of the wool merchants’ houses remaining the same as they were in the 16th & 17th centuries during the height of it’s the town’s prosperity from the wool trade.
Tetbury’s buildings include the Grade1 listed Market House. For centuries this has been the hub of the town, & markets are held here regularly on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Recent excavations just outside the walls revealed the unexpected survival of parts of a Roman cemetery.
Tetbury Market House
Mosaic floors of Roman Villas were a statement of wealth and importance. The Elaborate mosaic floors of the Roman villa in Spoonley Wood on the Sudeley estate were designed by the renowned school of mosaicists working in Corinium (Cirencester) The picture below is an exact replica of one of the floors using traditional Roman techniques with hand cut stones (tesserae).
Mosaic Floor of a Roman Villa
The view from Sudeley across the Isbourne Valley with its sheep filled slopes is little changed today from the 2nd.and 4th.centuries when the Romans settled in the Cotswolds and wealthy landowners chose to build their homes here. The remains of two Roman Villas were discovered on the Sudeley estate in the 19th century when the fields were ploughed for the first time.
Thanks Mark for being so warm and accommodating. You are now officially our favourite tour guide in the UK.