Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 23 – All things Roman

Today we had a change of plan and went to Chedworth Roman Villa. It was a last minute decision as we planned originally to go to Fun City in Brean to see the Sooty display. I saw the brochure in the reception area of the hotel at breakfast time, we were so glad we decided to go to Chedworth. It was absolutely amazing.

The place only reopened a few weeks ago after a major refurbishment. There were no audioguides available at the time when we arrived as there was a group using them so we sat in the café and had a coffee and Kylie had a lemon polenta cake. By the time we finished there were some audioguides returned so we were able to set off. In the refurbishments they have erected a building which has been built to a similar size to what the original Roman wing would have been, it covers the valuable mosaic floors they have recently uncovered and they were still in the process of uncovering. Where the gaps are, it shows how the underfloor heating was built. In the dining room the mosaic tiles were tiny and the detail was magnificent. Along the way there was a changing room, then the hot room, hot baths then the cold plunge baths.  There is a tree stump in the middle where a tree had been growing. This is a good way of showing where the ground level was before it was uncovered.

The trail then takes you back outside to the other baths and rooms where the kitchens were etc. While sitting outside taking in the view, there was a tour in place and the guide was saying that under the grass and tarmac there are more mosaic floors. They are cover them temporarily in tarmac to protect them till they are ready to preserve them.  The plans are to build another wing so they can uncover them in a protected environment. Once this is done, it will be the longest intact Roman mosaic path in the country (or world)? So a return visit is a  must.

After leaving Chedworth, we thought we would visit Lodge Park at Sherborne estate. Unfortunately this was closed as it is only open on Fri, Sat & Sun. After that we drove around to another part of Sherborne estate which was a barn and maps of all the walking trails in the area. Instead we went for a drive around the area.

We started to head back to our hotel, but decided to stop in Cirencester for tea. We had a bit of a walk around the town but as it was after 5pm, all the shops had closed. We went to a pub near where we parked the car called The Bear. We both had Steak, chips and peas as there was a deal for two meals for £8 .. It was a great bargain and the meal was even good.  Back in the hotel room I sat up till after midnight sorting my photos for the last two days.  I hope to get bac on track with these blogs as I am running a few days behind.  It is taking me about 3-4 hours to do one with editing the photos etc … just as well there is nothing on in the evenings!

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