The Cotswolds -Painswick and Cirencester

JUN 28,2016 - JUN 28,2016 (1 DAYS)

Nature

Main Attractions: Painswick - St. Mary Church, Painswick village, Painswick Rococo Garden, ACP Gallery,

Tip 1: Painswick - 1/2 day. Cheltenham-Painswick-Cheltenham.

Tip 2: Cirencester - 1/2 day. Cheltenham-Cirencester-Cheltenham.

----------------------------- Tip 1: Painswick -----------------------------

Transportaion: Bus No. 61 leaves from Cheltenham Promenade (Stop 2) at: SUNDAY 10:10 (arrives to Painswick at 10.50), weekdays: 07:25 08:35 09:40, Saturdays: 07:45 08:40.  Buses back to Cheltenham (opp. the St. Mary Church: Sunday - 14:28 16:28, Saturday: 17:48, weekdays: 15:48, 15:58, 16:48, 17:48. Buy an unlimited Stagecoach one-day ticket for £6  and use it for the following two trips.

Introduction: The historic wool town/village of Painswick is nestling quietly in Gloucestershire, standing on a hill in the Stroud district and, marvelously, overlooking one of the Five Valleys. Its attractive cobbled, narrow streets and traditional architecture draw a lot of tourists every year. The town is mainly constructed of locally quarried Cotswold stone. The town's many beautiful buildings can be seen as you wander around its quaint and narrow streets. Many of the buildings feature south-facing attic rooms once used as weavers' workshops. The New Street, constructed around 1428 when the wool and cloth trade was flourishing, contained the oldest building in England to hold a Post Office, (recently closed) and Painswick's only example of exposed timber framing. Note, also, the Beacon House with its magnificent Georgian Frontage and the Falcon Hotel with the oldest bowling green in England. 14th century houses in Bisley Street (see below) include two original Donkey doors -  wide enough for allowing entry of donkeys who carried the wool from the numerous mills along the local valleys. Today there is a variety of small shops and galleries to browse around with pubs, restaurants and tea shops that serve good food. The village's centre always has art on show in it's numerous artists' studios. From early July to August bank holiday Painswick celebrates the Art Couture festival with fantastic costumes paraded and stalls in the narrow streets. The famous Cotswold Way (CW) footpath which runs from Bath to Chipping Campden goes through the village. Painswick is about halfway along its 160 km. length. A restful relaxing stop on a day walk in the Cotswolds.

 

History: During the first English Civil War (1642–45) Gloucester town was a Parliamentarian stronghold. It was surrounded by the Royalist army. After the siege of Gloucester was broken on 5 September 1643, the Royalist army encamped overnight at Painswick, with the King staying at the local Court House. Ttradition has it that King Charles went up to the Beacon and, seeing the beautiful valley to the east said "This must be Paradise". Since then that valley, and the hamlet on its western side to the north of Painswick have been called Paradise.

In one sentence: Painswick is a fantastic place, offering a really amazing walk around the St. Mary church grounds and along the village narrow roads.

Tip: check calendar to see if there are special events happening in Painswick village.

Painswick is now best known for its (originally Norman) St. Mary church's yew trees and its wonderful Rococo Garden. The Church of Saint Mary was built between 1042 and 1066 by a rich Anglo Saxon man, who was then Lord of the Manor. In 1377 the chapel at the north side of the church was rebuilt and dedicated to St. Peter. This is the oldest part of the church. The church of St Mary was extended around 1480 in the English perpendicular style. The nave and tower were built about 1480 and by 1550 the sanctuary has taken its present form. The spire was not added until 1632 and can be seen from afar. The church remained in this form until the 1st English Civil War when it was occupied by Parliamentarians in 1644. The Royalists recaptured the village, however, after severe fighting. Bullet and cannon shot marks remain on the church tower to this day. Try to find a scar on the spire (September 5th, 1643) from a Cromwell (the Parliamentarians) canon ball. The church was greatly damaged by fire. In 1657 a gallery was added to the north aisle. In 1740 the south aisle was built with a gallery above. A west gallery was added in 1840. In 1877 the church was restored by public subscription. The Bell tower contains 14 bells.

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Do pop inside the St. Mary interiors for a moving visit. The inside is light, airy and spacious, with a delightful altar piece in the side chapel. Inside there is a huge wooden Great War memorial. The font dates from 1661 and replaced one destroyed during the civil war. The Royal arms over the entrance door are those of William IV.  The First World War screen was carved by a Belgian refugee and lists all those from Painswick who served and the names of those who died in gold. The organ was originally built in the 18th century, but only the casing remains. By the nave, admire the massive sailing ship model -- a symbol of finding safe haven. Inside, you'll find a surprising variety of leaflets in European and non-European languages. FREE:

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King David on a stained-glass window:

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The church courtyard is notable for its ancient and numerous yew trees. Note the names of their respective sponsors attached to them, The churchyard also has a fine collection of chest tombs and monuments from the early 17th century onwards, carved in local stone by local craftsmen. The oldest tomb, with fossils on the top, is of William Loveday, Yeoman, dated 1623. The St. mary churchyard is full of stunning yew trees all well manicured and lovely maintained. A fairytale garden. I just could not stop taking photos. Tradition holds that the churchyard will never have more than 99 yew trees and that should a 100th grow the Devil would pull it out. According to the last count of the trees -  there are 103 immaculately coiffured trees...

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Spare time to marvel around the number of Table Tombs in the graveyard, many of which have wonderful carvings:

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The village itself, an old world charm, is well worth a walk round, very quiet, sometimes deserted, roads but some with interesting shops and eateries. The wealth from wool production and weaving in the area gave the town many fine buildings. We leave St. Mary Church and its wonderful courtyard, heading northeast on New St. toward Victoria St., 65 m. We turn right onto Victoria St., 60 m. and turn left onto George Ct. On our left is the Town Hall (Painswick Parish Council):

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Return to Victoria St., continue walking eastward until it meets St. Mary Street and turn RIGHT (south) to St. Mary Street to get a marvelous sight of the parish church:

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Before turning left (south) to Hale Lane - we see Rosemary Cottage:

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Walking along Hale Lane - we see, in front of us, the Cotswolds hills:

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Turn right to Knapp Ln:

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Turn left (east) to Kings Mill Lane (on your right is the Painswick Stream). On your right is the Ticklestone Lane:

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On your right is the Capp Mill. This 17th-century Cotswold mill is delightfully situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty overlooking a picturesque trout stream in the beautiful grounds of the owner’s home:

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In the end of Kings Mill Lane, turn LEFT (north-west) and climb the STEEP Tibbiwell Ln. It is, approx., 7 minutes demanding climb. On your right is the Golden Heart teahouse and on your left is the Cardynham B&B Guest House. Turn right to St. Mary Street and left to Bisley Street:

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We continue northward along this street. It continues as Gloucester Street and after 10 minutes of mild climb (cemetery on our right and stones bench on our left) - we arrive to the Painswick Rococo Garden. Note: Bus # 61 (Stroud to Cheltenham) stops ½ mile away. This garden is a pleasure ground created in the decadent and fun loving early 18th century. Follies nestle in a hidden valley surrounded by magnificent Cotswolds views. A large Kitchen Garden produced many crops that are used in the garden's own restaurant.

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Entrance to the Rococo Garden. On your left are the Cotswolds fields:

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On your right are the Sequoia trees:

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During the nineteenth century, the original eighteenth century design was lost as much of the garden was converted to grow fruit and vegetables. Using a painting, by Thomas Robins in 1748, the garden is being fully restored to its eighteenth century character. Its main features are rococco buildings, woodland walks and well-planned vistas. In spring, the snowdrops are dramatic. Open: 10th January - 31st October: everyday: 10.30 - 17.00. Prices: Adults £7.20, Seniors (60+)   £6.30, Children (5-16) £3.30, Family (2+2) £18.00. There is a splendid cafe to refresh as well (homemade cakes) (closing: 14.00):

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The celebrated Rococo Gardens at Painswick House are open to the public throughout the year. In late Winter and early spring the carpets of snowdrops are truly breathtaking. Designed in the early 1700s by Benjamin Hyett, Painswick Rococo Garden is the country's sole surviving rococo garden.  A truly unique, magnificent garden. Set on different levels with lovely views and aspects leading to and from the unusual small gardening beds and buildings. It is set in a shallow valley (a natural bowl) and intended to be viewed from a distance. The setting is glorious with views over the surrounding countryside. Carpets of snowdrops everywhere. It is a compact garden but seems to swallow visitors so you don't feel crowded. Note: those with reduced mobility would find the steep slopes and steps down into the gardens difficult ! Picnics are NOT allowed in the garden.

Rococo Garden Upper Viewpoint:

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view from Rococo Garden Upper Ramp:

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The highest point in the gardens is the Red House. The Red House is the principal folly building in the garden and displays many of the classic attributes of the Rococo period.The building underwent a substantial stabilization project to prevent movement to the outer walls. The landscape setting has also been returned to the layout represented in the painting dated 1748 that is the basis of the restoration. Note: there is another (smaller) red house in the gardens: the Eagle's House.

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View from the Red House:

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Turn right from the Red House to the Bluebells Walk and the ' pigeon house'. It is a steep climb as is the bluebell area:

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After the steep climb, the path calms down to have a nice view of the Anniversary Maze. The maze is wonderful viewed from above:

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A path to the right will bring you to fantastic sights of the Cotswolds hills:

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Pond and Statues:

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Lambs Statues:

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The Exedra Garden:

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Big Urn opposite the Kitchen Garden:

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A miniature fairy-tale castle and willow hermitage to rest in:

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Plunge Pool:

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We leave the gardens, retrace down along Gloucester Street, cross the New Street and see a signpost pointing to the "Galleries/Function". Here we find the ACP Gallery with its extraordinary "wearable" art (ACP = Art Coture Painswick). You can see, here, models displaing avant-garde, astonishing creations of wearable art. Open: WED – SAT: 10.00 - 16.00. FREE. Every year, on July, the gallery conducts an innovative festival that transforms the streets of Painswick into a place of wonder and carnival: the event features stage shows among the St. Mary Church yew trees, where participants display their astonishing creations of wearable art before a panel of celebrity judges.

Life cycle of Butterfly:

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Spread your wing:

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Fish and Chip:

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United Kingdom

1 DAYS

Citywalk

----------------------------- Tip 2: Cirencester -----------------------------

Main Attractions: Church of St. John the Baptist,The Corinium Museum, Cirencester Walls, Cirencester Park

Orientation: you can combine the Painswick and Cirencester itineraries in one day. BUT, you must return to Cheltenham in every trip.

Duration: 1/2 day. Transportaion: with Stagecoach Bus #51 from Cheltenham Promenade to Cirencester - MON - FRI: 06.55, 08.00,  09.10, 10.10, 11.10, 12.10, 13.10, 14.10, 15.10. SAT: 08.05, 09.10, 10.10, 11.10, 12.10,13.10,14.10, 15.10, 16.10, 17.10, 18.10, 19.10, SUN: 10.10, 12.10, 14.10, 16.10, 18.10. From The Cirencester Forum to Cheltenham Promenade: MON-FRI: 06.15, 07.15, 08.00, 08.23, 09.00, 09.10, 10.00, 10.20, 11.00, every hour xx.20 and xx.00, 14.20, 15.00, 15.20, 16.00, 16.20, 17.05, 17.25, 18.05, 18.25, 19.05, SAT: 07.15, 08.05, 09.00, 09.20, every hour - xx.00 and xx.20, 18.00, 18.20, 19.00, SUN: 09.20, 11.20, 13.20, 15.20, 17.20.
Buy an unlimited Stagecoach one-day ticket for £6 and use it for the Painswick and Cirencester two trips. This ticket allows you unlimited trips with Stagecoach buses for an whole single day. No railway station. The closest station is Kemble, 4 miles away.

Introduction: Cirencester (locally called: sister or Sarrencester) is the largest town in the Cotswold district, 150 km west, northwest of London. 40 minutes bus ride from Cheltenham. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a small branch of the River Thames. The Churn flows north to south through the eastern side of the town and joins the Thames near Cricklade a little to the south of Cirencester. Cirencester is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world, founded in 1840. Cirencester was known to be an important early Roman area, along with St. Albans and Colchester, and the town includes evidence of significant Roman area roadworks. The Roman name for the town was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. There are many Roman remains in the surrounding area, including several Roman villas near the villages of Chedworth and Withington. When a wall was erected around the Roman city Corinium in the late second century - the city became the second-largest city by area in Britain. The Roman amphitheatre still exists in an area known as the Querns to the southwest of the town, but has only been partially excavated. Investigations in the town show that it was fortified, as well, during the fifth and the sixth centuries. The town's Corinium Museum is well known for its extensive Roman collection. Already in Roman times, there was a thriving wool trade and industry, which contributed to the growth of Corinium. Wool sales, weaving and  cloth-making were the main strengths of England's trade in the Middle Ages, and Cirencester's merchants gained wealth and prosperity from the national and international trade. At the end of the 18th century Cirencester was a thriving market town, at the centre of a network of turnpike roads with easy access to markets for its produce of grain and wool.

Cirencester main attraction is the Church of St. John the Baptist - the 'Cathedral of the Cotswolds' - renowned for its Perpendicular Gothic porch, fan vaults and merchants' tombs. The church is medieval. Construction started around 1120. It was widened in about 1180. To the north of the chancel is St. Catherine's Chapel which dates from around 1150. It contains a wall painting of St. Christopher carrying the Christ Child, and vaulting given by Abbot John Hakebourne in 1508. To the north of St. Catherine's Chapel is the Lady Chapel, first built in 1240 and extended in the 15th century. The east window dates from around 1300. The original stained glass of the east window has long since disappeared and it is now filled with fifteenth century glass from other parts of the church. The Trinity Chapel dates from 1430–1460. The gigantic south porch which adjoins the market place was built around 1500. The nave was completely rebuilt between 1515 and 1530 and is a remarkable example of late perpendicular Gothic architecture. The magnificent tower, seen from afar, is from the fifteenth century and remarkable for the large buttresses which shore it up at its junction with the nave. The architecture is wonderful and inspiring both outside and inside. It is steeped in history and is absolutely stunning, well worth a visit:

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Beautiful and quiet interiors for relaxation and contemplation. Inside there are some wonderful stained-glass windows. Some of the windows have no stained glass because Oliver Cromwell put women and children inside the church as prisoners, and they broke the windows. most of the stained-glass windows are from the Victorian era. The entrance is FREE:

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Stunning stained-glass windows:

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Several very old interesting mural paintings:

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Anne Boleyn, Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 and the second wife of King Henry VIII, fell sick in Cirencester. Anne Boleyn's daughter, Queen Elizabeth gave a silver goblet (cup) to the doctor who treated her mother. The doctor's family later donated the cup to the church. The goblet, the most remarkable artifact in the church - is permanently illuminated and on display at one end of the nave:

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Behind the church there is an extensive park with mighty trees including cedar trees:

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It is, approximately, 300 m. walk westward from the church to the Corinium Museum of Cirencester. From the St. John's church or the Market Place - we head west on Market Pl for 50 m. We turn right onto West Market Pl, 40 m. Turn left onto Black Jack St for 120 m. Black Jack St turns slightly right and becomes Park St and the museum is 30 m. further on the right. The Corinium Museum of Cirencester has exhibits ranging from the prehistoric to the 20th century (with an especially interesting Anglo-Saxon gallery). But, most of what is on show are finds relating to Roman Corinium (Cirencester) and sites close by. The exhibits are well maintained and interesting and many finds are even stunning. The museum is thoughtfully laid out on a time line approach.  Plenty of space to enable visitors to look at everything without feeling overcrowded. If you keep in mind that Cirencester's Roman remains are all underground - allow a few hours visiting this museum. Open: April to October: MON – SAT: 10.00 – 17.00, SUN: 14.00 – 17.00 (!). November to March: MON – SAT: 10.00 – 16.00, SUN: 14.00 – 16.00 (!). Closed 24 – 26 December and 1 January. Prices: Adults £5.40, Senior Citizens (age 60+) £4.60, Children (5 to 16) £2.60, Under 5’s free, Students (16+) £3.50, Families (up to 2 adults and 5 children) 10% discount off the adult/children charges.

Two outstanding treasures in the Corinium Museum are the  tombstones of cavalrymen Dannicus and Genialis. Dannicus was a Roman sodier who came from Augusta Raurica (Switzerland).

Tombstone of Dannicus:

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Sextus Valerius Genialis was a Frisian soldier (from Holland) in a unit of Thracians (modern Bulgaria).

Tombstone of Genialis - (Early Roman), Genialis conquers the enemy! The conventional design commemorates the cavalryman and emphasizes the irresistible power of the Roman Army:

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The Museum is famed for its mosaics. Chief among these are four fine (though damaged) mosaic floors, each with striking picture panels set within patterned borders. The Hare mosaic has become the symbol of the city of Cirencester and the museum’s logo since the discovery of this ancient Roman mosaic. The mosaic, dating to the 4th century AD, was discovered just below the road surface during archaeological excavations in Beeches Road in 1971. Today, the mosaic graces the entrance foyer of the Corinium Museum:  Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Orpheus Mosaic from the 4th century AD was found just outside Cirencester in 1824. It depicts Orpheus, a mythical poet and musician, encircled by animals inspired by his music:

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The Hunting Dog Mosaic. This mosaic was found in Cirencester in 1849. In the central medallion, three dogs are hunting an unknown animal, as this part of the mosaic was incomplete when found:

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A bronze figure of Cupid was found in the centre of Roman Corinium in 1732. It is described as one of the finest specimens of Greek-Roman art found in Britain. Dated from the mid 1st - mid 2nd century AD:

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The hunter from Naukratis sculpture. At the dawn of the Classical Age, Egypt opened a port at Naukratis, welcoming the peoples of the Mediterranean to trade. The Greeks there were allowed to build sanctuaries in which to worship their gods, whilst nearby large Egyptian temples were also constructed:

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Do not miss the stunning picture of John Coxwell (1516–1618) by Cornelius Johnson (1593–1661). Coxwell is dressed in costly black and carries what appears to be a prayer book. During his life, wool had made him rich; and the wool trade had brought the wealth to build churches and grand houses throughout the Cotswolds. In 2002 the painting was donated to the museum by Colonel Coxwell-Rogers, a descendant of John Coxwell:

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The museum's delightful Roman garden:

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From the museum we shall make a small circular detour of the city. Continue westward and southward along Park Lane to see the ancient Roman Walls. Roman Cirencester was defended by an earthwork bank and ditch encircling the settlement. Outside the earthen town defenses stood a huge amphitheatre seating 8000 spectators. The population of Corinium as a whole probably reached 10-12,000 residents. In the early 3rd century the earthwork defences were rebuilt in stone. The new stone walls stood 6m high with a walk at the top. At intervals along the walls were polygonal stone towers, and bastions projected from the wall. The walls were allowed to decay after the Romans departed in the early 5th century, but they were later incorporated into the medieval town walls that encircled Cirencester:

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This nice house stands at the intersection of Park Lane and Caste Street:

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We pop into Sheep Street, just to see, In the beginning of this street, on our  left, the The Marlborough Arms Pub:

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We change direction and return north-east along Castle Street. On the second turn to the left we turn north-west to Silver Street to see this impressive line of houses - an architectural delight:

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Continue north-west along Silver Street, passing the Corinium Museum on your right. Continue along Park Street  and climb left (west) to Cecily Hill. This road ends with the Cirencester Park. Open: everyday 08.00 - 17.00 (!). FREE. The 2017 Cotswold Show will take place on Saturday 1st July and Sunday 2nd July inside this extensive park. The show is open to visitors from 9.00 – 18.00 on Saturday and 9.00 until 17.00m on Sunday. You can make a wide selection (short and long) walks in this beautiful park.  If you stick to the main path/wide avenue - it would be rather long walk. Do at least part of the walk. The path off shoots into smaller paths which lead to private properties, which are nice to explore as well. The park itself start from the middle of town and extends for a half day walk towards the little villages of Sapperton and the Duntisbournes. The park is also called Bathurst Estate since the Earl of Bathurst whose family have owned the Park for centuries. The estate has remained within the same family for over 300 years, which has helped maintained continuity in values and personal vision. Lord Bathurst was a patron of literature and art, befriending many of the noted authors of his day, including Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, both of whom stayed frequently at Cirencester. THe park is also home to Cirencester Park Polo Club, which was founded in 1894 and is the oldest polo playing ground in the UK. Note the Cecily Hill Barracks which stand at the entrance to Cirencester Park. Originally built in 1857 as the Royal North Gloucestershire Militia Armoury, the building is with towers and battlements:

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Entrance to the park:

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The Cirencester Park is screened from the town by the tallest yew hedge in the world:

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The park is dotted with many follies. This one is the Pope's Seat, named after the 18th Century English poet Alexander Pope, of whom Lord Bathurst was a patron (see above):

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We rush back from the park to catch our bus back to Cheltenham. It is a 600 m. walk back to The Forum. From Cecily Hill head east towards Thomas St,, 60 m. Cecily Hill turns slightly right and becomes Park St,, 125 m. Turn left to stay on Park St., 55 m. Slight right, again, onto Silver St., 75 m., turn left onto Castle St., 80 m., turn right onto Cricklade St., 90 m., turn left onto West Way, 160 m., West Way turns slightly right and becomes South Way and after 45 m. you'll see The Forum on your right.

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