Park Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7-2BX.
Tel : (+44) 01285 655611
ANGLO-SAXON HISTORY OF CIRENCESTER
Cirencester became an important centre in the Saxon period, but little tangible evidence survives. Burials and the site of the minster church are all that remains to reflect its former status, [some burials were discovered in 1909 at The Barton on the edge of Cirencester Park nd they included that of a warrior buried with his spear and shield. His grave has been dug through the fourth-century Orpheus Mosaic which is now on display in the Corinium Museum].
The Saxon settlement itself was probably sited in the vicinity of the present Cecily Hill, to the north-west of the abandoned Roman city. Little else is known of the details of the life and times for the next 350 years.
The minster church of St. Mary founded in the 9th or 10th century, was probably a royal foundation which survived into the 12th century, to be replaced by the Augustinian abbey also called St. Mary. [Both the Anglo-Saxon church and the medieval abbey church lay to the north of the parish church, and the site is now marked out in the Abbey Grounds with an explanatory plaque].
At the French-Norman Conquest the royal manor of Cirencester was granted to the Earl of Hereford, but by 1075 it had reverted back to the crown. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the new market of Cirencester which had paid an annual toll of 20 shillings and attracted trade from the surrounding area.
The museum is the renowned home of the largest known collections of Romano-British antiquities sourced from Corinium (now known as Cirencester), which was actually the second largest city in Roman Britain! Their fascinating and visual enjoyable Roman collection is spread over two floors and includes tombstones, mosaics, sculptures and daily life artifacts, plus authentic room and shop reconstructions.
There also a dramatic gallery where you can come face to face with the Anglo-Saxons via a forensically reconstructed man and child from the period, and you can also discover their own buried treasure, which includes rare gold pendants! The centre piece is the dignified and non spooky reconstructed grave of a 6th century Anglo-Saxon princess, who has been nicknamed “Mrs Getty” because of the 500+ treasures interred along with her.
So experience the elegance of Victorian Cirencester, be amzed by Medieval sculpture, admire the work of pre-history metals miths and much more at this brilliant museum, that is full of great audivisual screens, plus animated and practical games, that will bring history of life for the whole family.
ADMISSION 2017 PRICES
Over 60s £4-60p
Student 16 & over £3-50p
Family 2 adults up to 5 children 10% discount on admission charges.
OPENING TIMES April – October
Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 17.00hrs
Sunday – 14.00 – 17.00hr
November – March
Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 16.00hr
Sunday 14.00 – 16.00hrs
Closed between 24th – 26th December too 1st January.
PLACES TO EAT
There are plenty of places to eat in Cirencester.
Stagecoach bus service 51 Cheltenham too Swindon & return.
Hour service Mon – Sat Prom stop 4. bus station bay 16.
2 hour service Sun Cheltenham too Cirencester & return.
The nearest railway station is Kemble which is approximately 5 miles/8kms away on the Great Western line from Paddington, London, the lines goes through Swindon to Gloucester, will need to get a taxi to Cirencester. cost about £11-00 2015 prices.
There are plenty of car-parks within the town, in most cases parking charges apply from 08.00 – 18.00hrs, Mon – Sat including Bank Holidays.