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Day Out: Archive Films
Gwyn Richards: A Day Out in Cirencester
Day Out: Cirencester
Watch a BBC West programme made in 1979 of a day spent exploring Cirencester...
Originally broadcast in November 1979 was this beautifully made half-hour television programme which took a look round Cirencester.
As part of the BBC West 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter Gwyn Richards is shown exploring the area.
Gwyn explores Cirencester's Roman walls
His journey begins at the town's Roman Amphitheatre, where he explores the remains of what he calls "the most impressive Roman Amphitheatre in the country". He explains that it was built just outside Corinium - now known as Cirencester - the second largest city in Roman Empire of Britain.
Gwyn then talks about the history of the town which became known as the "Capital of the Cotswolds". He visits the remains of the original Roman town wall, and explains how and why the town came to be situated where it is. He also mentions a rarely used alternative pronounciation for the town of "Sissister".
Corinium Museum Curator David Viner
Next it's on to the Corinium Museum where he finds out about Roman mosaic manufacture in the town. He views the unique "hare mosaic" which had only recently been discovered - in 1971 - in the remains of a local Roman townhouse.
David Viner, curator of the Corinium Museum, is interviewed and he talks about the Roman history of the town. He shows Gwyn the top of the 'Jupiter Column', which once stood in the middle of the town's piazza.
Once again outside Gwyn confronts the "largest yew hedge in the world" - which forms a 40ft high boundary with the Bathurst Estate. He then explores the estate itself and discovers Broad Ride - "the single longest gallop of its kind in the whole country" - which stretches for 5 miles from Sapperton to Cirencester.
Joyce Barker who grew up in Cecily Hill
Local resident and historian Joyce Barker is interviewed about growing up in Cirencester's Cecily Hill in the early years of the 20th Century. She also points out some of the interesting local architecture.
Gwyn then shows us "Tontine Buildings" and explains that a tontine was a financial investment scheme where the winner was the last participant to die who kept all the cash.
A walk along Coxwell Street leads to the site of St. Mary's Abbey in Cirencester which was destroyed in 1539 on the orders of Henry VIII. We catch a glimpse of an old Mulberry tree, reputed to have been planted in 1548 but very much still alive in the 1970s.
Gwyn shows off the Anne Boleyn chalice
Gwyn shows us a replica of a beautiful silver gilt chalice made for Anne Boleyn in 1535, two years before her death. The original is kept inside Cirencester Parish Church. In the town's Market Street Gwyn tells us about the building of the church tower, begun in 1400, and the south porch erected in about 1490.
Check out the other fascinating films from the 'Day Out' series which were filmed in Gloucestershire by clicking on the links at the top right of this page.
last updated: 21/01/2009 at 14:33
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