Today I went on a walk through Cirencester, mostly to catch Pokemon on the Pokemon Go game for Android(!) 😉 but also to enjoy some time outdoors. I like walking but it’s been very cold lately and I haven’t been able to go out walking much. Thankfully today was a lot warmer and perfect for a walk.
I stopped off in town and had lunch in The West Cornwall Pasty shop, did a bit of retail therapy (I bought a pair of jeans from a charity shop for £5 – bargain!) and took a walk around the outskirts of Cirencester town.
On the outskirts of Cirencester are the earthwork remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain. Cirencester or Corinium as it was once known was second only to London in terms of size and importance. Making it one of the largest Roman cities.
Built in the early 2nd century, the amphitheatre could hold about 8,000 spectators. After the Roman army left Britain, it was fortified against Saxon invaders.
The amphitheatre is an English Heritage site and free to visit any time of the year. It is one of my favourite places to visit on a walk through the town or on my journey home.
The photos don’t really show how steep the amphitheatre is! There are some areas cordoned off at the moment as they’re too slippery to climb up.
The amphitheatre is oval, with an entrance at each end of the long axis. The massive banks, which are all that can be seen today, supported tiers of seats made from planking on terraced drystone walls.
Only one side of the amphitheatre has been excavated, but there are rumours in the local community that it will be excavated, in its entirety, in the future.
Towards the left hand corner of the amphitheatre is Queens Wood, which leads to Cirencester hospital and the four acres field. From there you can walk to the housing estate known as Chesterton.
If you ever visit Cirencester, I’d recommend a walk around the amphitheatre and Querns Wood as part of your visit.