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cirencester - News, Articles and Events

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Shaping the future of Cirencester town centre

Places by Adam No Comments »

A major project aimed at transforming Cirencester during the 21st Century has reached an important stage with the publication by Cotswold District Council of a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the town centre.

Read the rest of this entry »

A brief history of underwear at Museum talk

Events, Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

Discover underwear through the ages when local costume expert Shelagh Lovett Turner comes to the Corinium Museum for an afternoon talk.

‘The Allure of the Unseen’, an informal ‘talk with tea’, will take place at the Park Street Museum on February 21st, where visitors can discover more about the range and styles of underwear worn through time.

There will also be the chance to see some historic underwear from Shelagh’s own stunning costume collection, as she will illustrate her talk with some fascinating underwear examples. These will include petticoats and pantaloons, the pure silk of the 1930s and the man-made fabrics of the 1950s and 60s.

The talk will be followed by plenty of time for questions and an informal chat with Shelagh over tea, coffee and cake.

‘The Allure of the Unseen’ runs from 2pm – 3pm and tickets cost £3 per person – booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

For more details, to find out about other Museum events, or to book tickets, please telephone the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611 or email

Source: Cotswold District Council

Related Articles:
Historic shoes and footwear fairytales at the Corinium museum

Half-term history fun at Corinium Museum

Events, Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

Have a sneaky peek at anything from history and hairy beasts to shiny shoes this half term when the Corinium Museum hosts a range of fun events for children.

The Park Street museum will hold historical sessions from February 18th-22nd, which will shed light on the Stone Age, the Romans and the Tudors, while another hands-on event for youngsters is all about ‘Sparkly Shoes’.

The first activity to take place during the school break is part of the Museum’s ‘Archaeology Seminars’, and will look at the Romans in the Cotswolds.  It is aimed at 9-12 year olds and will allow children an up-close look at Roman artefacts.  This event is being held on Wednesday February 20th, from 10am-11.30am.

Also on February 20th is a ‘Sparkly Shoes’ activity, where children can create their own glittery and street-wise shoes, while drawing inspiration from the Museum’s current ‘Cinderella Shoes’ exhibition.  This will run from 1pm-3pm and costs £1 per child.  Each child must be accompanied by an adult.

Two more events will follow on Thursday February 21st, with ‘Wonderful Woolly Mammoths’ (10.30am-12pm) aimed at the 7-11 year old age bracket.  In this activity, children will look at the unique, elephant-like animals who roamed the world during the Stone Age, and they will be able to create their own Mammoth model.

The ‘Tudor Life’ family event, also on Thursday February 21st, will examine how the Tudors lived, and parents and children will look at costumes and artefacts, as well Tudor etiquette and dancing.  Visitors will also get the chance to make a Tudor pomander and hat to take home.  This session runs from 2.30pm-4pm.

For more information on any of these events, including admission prices and availability, please ring the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611 or email

Source: Cotswold District Council 

Vision for Cirencester gets the green light

Features by Adam No Comments »

A major partnership project to transform Cirencester in the 21st Century was given the seal of approval by Cotswold District Council today.

A Vision for Cirencester aims to make the town of one the UK’s most attractive and economically viable market towns, befitting its role as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds.’

CDC is working closely with Cirencester Town Council, Gloucestershire County Council, local organisations, businesses and the community to shape the Vision.

At a full Council meeting today (January 29), Cotswold District councillors endorsed the Vision document, which sets out five themes to be tackled: Character, Connectivity, Commerce, Choice and Culture.

Portfolio holder for Development Services Cllr John Birch said after the meeting: “This is an exciting time for Cirencester as all the projects and strategies under the Vision umbrella are being drawn together to help us plan for the future. It’s important to stress that Cotswold District Council is just one of a number of partners involved in helping to shape and deliver this Vision.” Read the rest of this entry »

The life of literature legend at Museum talks

Events, Features by Adam No Comments »

Discover a fascinating insight into 14th Century England and its colourful characters when the Corinium Museum hosts two lectures in January. 

Both lectures will focus on the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer, a renowned author and poet in medieval Britain, in an era of British history which saw literature and architecture flourish.  ‘The Age of Chaucer’ lectures will be hosted by local historian Tim Porter. 

The first lecture, on January 24th, is called ‘Chaucer and His Favoured Friends’, while the event on January 31st is called ‘Regional Celebrities’.  Both lectures run from 2pm – 4pm. 

The lectures will then link to a day school called ‘The Downfall of Richard II’ on Saturday February 9th.  This event, from 10am-4pm, tells how Cirencester came into the national spotlight in 1400 after Richard II’s last supporters were arrested by townspeople.

Tickets for the two lectures cost £6.50 per talk, with a 10% discount for season ticket holders and Friends of the Corinium Museum.  Tickets for the day school cost £25 per person (including tea, coffee and biscuits) and booking is essential.  Lunch is not included. 

For more details on either event or to book, please contact the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611 or email:

Source: Cotswold District Council

Other Corinium Museum articles:

Historic shoes and footwear fairytales at the Corinium museum
Classic pottery comes to Corinium Museum

Moreton-in-Marsh is one of Britain’s top 10 country towns

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Weekend Telegraph Property Section – Caroline McGhie seeks out the best small market towns in Britain. Moreton-in-Marsh is in the top ten

Moreton-in-Marsh has made it into the top ten beating near neighbours like Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour.

“Small market towns are becoming increasing desirable, as much for their natural beauty as their shops and schools” Britain’s finest country towns sparkle like precious stones in the property market; beacons of prosperity, enterprise and asperation. They are the setting for some of our most unusual shops, our greatest novels, our agricultural highs and lows. They are the heartbeat of the countryside.”

“Moreton-in-Marsh is a Cotswold beauty with a glorious main street of golden stone houses with back lanes running off. Strategically placed between Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Bath and Oxford, it once thrived as a coaching stop, but now attracts commuters who use the local station for the 90 minute journey into London.”

“It is Heythrop Hunt country and the town has its very own horse and agricultural show in September. In the summer it fills with opera buffs flocking to the Longborough Festival, the Cotswolds’  answer to Glyndebourne. It is accessible to everywhere, a crossing point that is set in beautiful countryside and the Tuesday market, where you can buy everything from slippers to saucissons, is protected by a Royal Charter granted by King Charles I.”

Other local towns in the list of top 50 towns to delight were:

Come and stay at Little Gidding and spend some time in these five top 50 local towns. All five towns are within a 1/2 hour drive through the lovely local countryside.

Also visit other local country towns like Chipping Norton, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwick, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe which didn’t make it to the top fifty but which have lots of character and charm and many supporters. Let us have your views and comments.       

Source: Daily Telegraph Weekend Property Section 

Hear local expert talk about historic houses

Events, Places by Adam No Comments »

Chipping Campden Almshouses. Photo (c) Rick http://ligthelm.multiply.comJoin local historian John Loosley at Cirencester’s Corinium Museum later this month when he hosts a talk on the historic almshouses of Gloucestershire.

The evening talk takes places at the Park Street venue on Thursday January 31st, and will focus on Gloucestershire’s many interesting almshouses, which date from the 12th century through to Victorian times.

John Loosley will explore the origins of these almshouses, the people who founded them and the rules and regulations the almspeople had to obey. Many of the almshouses – some of which are still in use today – are particularly fine architectural examples of their period.

‘Gloucestershire’s Almshouses’ is part of a series of evening lectures taking place at the Corinium Museum. It runs from 7pm–9pm, although finish times may vary because of time for questions.

Booking is essential and tickets for the event cost £5. Annual season ticket holders and Friends of the Corinium Museum receive a 10% discount.

Please contact Helen Arbon at the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611 or email to book a place or to find out about other events.

Photo: (c) Rick,

Source: Cotswold District Council

Other Corinium Museum articles:
Master mosaic making at Corinium Museum session
Classic pottery comes to Corinium Museum
Hands-on history sessions over half-term at the Corinium Museum
Make Bronze Age jewellery at Museum session

Historic shoes and footwear fairytales at the Corinium museum

Events, Features, Places by Adam 2 Comments »

A month-long exhibition which looks at historic shoes and footwear fairytales will open at the Corinium Museum, Cirencester on Sunday January 20th.

‘Cinderella Shoes’ will showcase 200-year-old silk shoes with gorgeous gold-coloured buckles; huge protective boots from Victorian times; funky and chunky Seventies platform shoes and tiny baby bootees from 1900.

The fabulous footwear comes from the Museum’s own collection and that of local collector Shelagh Lovett-Turner.

Alongside the exhibits are big, shoe-inspired collages made by children from Acorns Day Nursery, Bright Eyes Children’s Centre, Cirencester Opportunity Group and Stepping Stones Nursery.

The toddlers all met the Museum’s Education Officer Rachael Holtom, who showed them some of the old shoes, played shoe-inspired games with them and told a story that involved shoes. The children then created their own artwork inspired by shoes and shoe stories.

Rachael said: “There are quite a few stories and rhymes that involve shoes – ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’, ‘Puss in Boots’, ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’ and so on.

“The children have all produced fantastic artwork and really enjoyed looking at the old shoes and the shoe activities that their nurseries organised.”

The footwear on display is grouped into fairytale themes, under the story headings. There will also be hands-on activities for small children, such as decorating a shoe outline with buttons and buckles, shoes to try on and a chance to measure their own feet .

For adults, there are also ‘lucky charm’ shoes to look at, which were hidden under floors in the past in an attempt to stop witches entering homes. Visitors can also find out how the humble boot played a part in female emancipation, why shoes were not always made to fit the left and right foot and see a small selection of cobbler’s tools.

The exhibition runs from Sunday January 20th to Sunday 24th February and entrance costs £1. For opening times and more information, please phone 01285 655611.

Source: Cotswold District Council

Cirencester Visitor Information Centre to join forces with Museum

Places by Adam No Comments »

Cirencester’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) will receive a new lease of life in 2008 when it moves from the Market Place to the Corinium Museum in Park Street.

Plans for the move were approved by Cotswold District Council in December and, under the new proposals, the VIC will move into the Museum’s shop, offering a combined service.

The VIC currently operates from the Corn Hall, which was sold by the District Council to Wildmoor Properties in Summer 2007.

The move will see a range of benefits for both services, including new Sunday opening for visitor information to tie in with current Museum hours, lower running costs for VIC services, and multi-skilled staff, who will be able to cater for both museum and tourist enquiries.

Customers will be able to enter the shop at the front of the building for visitor information without having to pay to visit the Museum itself.

There will be no change to the service offered by the VIC, which includes travel information, information on local attractions, souvenirs and books .

Cllr David Fowles, Cotswold District Council Portfolio holder for Sport, Culture and Enterprise, said: “This move is really exciting and will offer CDC the opportunity of continuing to provide visitor information services in the recently-refurbished Corinium Museum.  It will hopefully encourage more visitors to visit the Museum’s fantastic collections at the same time.

“The changes will offer a new perspective to an already efficient service, and it’s a very positive and encouraging move for the VIC to be making.

“Exciting developments are on the way in the streets around the Museum and the VIC’s new location will help to attract visitors to this changing part of Cirencester.

The move is expected to take place during the first six months of the year.

Cotswold names day for leisure centre re-opening

Features by Adam No Comments »

Cirencester’s Cotswold Leisure Centre is due to re-open its doors to the public on March 1st following complex repairs to extensive flood damage, Cotswold District Council announced today.

The Centre’s plant room was damaged by 70,000 gallons of flood water after the unprecedented rainfall which hit Gloucestershire on July 20th. The building and its contents are fully insured and the Council is also insured for loss of revenue at the Centre.

A complex schedule of work and repairs, costing approximately £800,000, has followed a major clean-up operation and the Council and its insurers Royal and Sun Alliance have now named the date for re-opening, bar any unforeseen difficulties.

The Council’s Portfolio holder for Property & Benefits, Cllr Nick Parsons, said: “We fully appreciate that our members have now been without their leisure facilities in Cirencester for more than four months.

“We must not forget that this is a massive undertaking to rebuild the very heart of the centre requiring a great deal of complex work in a confined space.

“Our contractors EIC Ltd are working exceptionally hard to get the building open again and we are looking forward to welcoming members old and new on March 1st.”

Much of the plant room equipment that was ruined, including boilers, electrical systems, control panels and water filtration plant, is taking several months to replace and re-install due to the high-tech components required.

While the Centre has been closed, the Council has provided classes at local schools and offered members the use of its facilities at Tetbury, Fairford, Bourton and Chipping Campden at no charge.

The July flood was caused when road drainage was unable to cope with the rainfall and the subsequent overflow of a nearby lake.

Cllr Parsons added: “Thousands of buildings were affected by the floods and the Cotswold Leisure Centre was just one of them. The Council is satisfied that the building and its drainage meet the required standards for all but the most exceptional cases.

“However, we cannot be sure that there will not be a repeat of the unprecedented circumstances of July. As such, the Council has agreed to spend £100,000 on further flood prevention measures to further protect the Centre as best it can.”

In addition, Royal and Sun Alliance have engaged an expert hydrologist to report on water run-off and drainage outside the boundaries of the leisure centre.

The vast majority of Cotswold Leisure Centre’s staff have been re-deployed by the Council during the closure. Their new roles have included life guarding at the town’s open air pool, helping to collect flood-damaged furniture and providing extra help to cover holidays across Council teams, such as planning, printing, licensing, visitor information centres, housing and museums. Staff have also hosted roadshows around the District highlighting changes to the Council’s waste services.

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