June 2 – A trip to Cirencester

Chedworth Roman Villa

Hello from 1066 – Medieval Mosaic

Today we went to Cirencester to visit the Church of St John the Baptist. It is a lovely big church with some amazing stone carved features like the amazing fan vaulted ceiling and the huge monuments. The gilded reredos in St Catherine’s chapel is spectacular. There are some lovely stained glass windows and wall painting with good colours. In previous centuries it was the fashion to white wash the walls often covering beautiful wall paintings. When the whitewash is removed these paintings appear, some very light in colour but some like these still show quite vibrant colours.

At the church, we quickly collected the required numbers for the geocache and made the necessary calculations and set off the short distance to find the cache. It took us to a high wall and a seat where some people were eating their lunch. It turned out that they were geocachers but they had not done this one so could not be any help. In the end, we realised that we were on the wrong of the wall but that did not help either, we still couldn’t find the cache. We were just about to give up when I saw it and wondered why we had made such hard work of such an obvious spot.

On our way home we detoured to visit Chedworth Roman Villa, a National Trust site. We came here during the winter but it was closed then so happy to see it open. we spent several hours here listening to the head set explaining all about the site and the Roman occupation here. Really fascinating to see the mosaics which were beautiful and multi coloured.and to realise just how cultured and clever they were. The series of underfloor heating, hot and cool pools etc was great. They were very advanced people. The thing which we were most fascinated by was the giant snails which were cultivated for food these snails still exist in the villa and surrounding areas even after 1600 years. It is also a place dedicated to the conservation of various rare breeds of Newt.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworth-roman-villa/features/wildlife-among-the-archaeology

The museum has fascinating artefacts which have been unearthed during on-site excavations. They give an insight into the different religions which would have been worshipped here and you can see Roman jewellery, figurines, coins and more. There was also a Medieval Moneyer on site which was fascinating and we learned how money was made and watched him make some.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneyer

On the way back to Burford we visited the Church of St Michael at Yanworth which had a lovely wall painting and some good stone carvings.

There are 85 large (5ft) hares which can be found in 28 villages and towns in the Cotswolds as part of the Cotswold Large Hare Trail. We have probably seen over 20 of them. They are all very beautiful and different artists have painted and decorated them.

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