Cirencester Amphitheatre, Cirencester

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#3 of 6 in Historic Sites in Cirencester
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Cirencester Amphitheatre was a Roman amphitheatre located in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. It has been scheduled as an ancient monument.
Archeological digs have uncovered the earthworks, revealing the outline of the construction, which is still visible, with the banking reaching 25 feet from the bottom of the arena. The arena itself is approximately 150 feet (46 m) by 135 feet (41 m). Roman artefacts including coins and pottery have been discovered on the site. It is estimated that it was constructed towards the beginning of the 2nd century.

In Roman Britain, Cirencester was known as Corinium Dobunnorum, and was the second biggest town in Britannia, after Londinium (London). This amphitheatre is also the second largest, which indicates the significance of the location in Roman times. Although only slightly larger in diameter than the amphitheatre in Silchester, it has much higher sides.

The earthworks show evidence of tiered wooden seats for around 8000 people, placed upon terraces made of stone, although a timber only structure may have existed before the 2nd century. There are two entrances, located at the North-Eastern and South-Western ends of the stadium.
During the 5th century, when the Western Roman Empire was under attack and soldiers returned to Rome to defend it, the amphitheatre was fortified to defend against the invading Saxons. Wooden structures were erected within the arena itself, placed in postholes, and a portion of the North-Eastern entrance was blocked.
Unlike other amphitheatres, it is aligned in parallel to the streets of the town itself.
It has also been referred to as the 'Bull Ring', because the sport of bull-baiting used to take place there.
In 2012 plans were announced by the Cirencester Town Council to improve access and signage at the site. Further plans for a visitor centre and car park followed in 2014.
Put Cirencester Amphitheatre on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Cirencester tour itinerary planning tool.
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Cirencester Amphitheatre reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
148 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • Ok so you need a little imagination to think what this was like centuries ago but it’s all there with a bit of vision. You can wander round it’s free and there are information boards A must if...  more »
  • This doesnt need much time allocated to it but we're glad we visited. No cost and a few signs to read and the kids enjoyed running up and down the sides playing gladiators. A little activity to tick.....  more »
Google
  • Lovely place for a walk and seeing a bit of history. All you need is some imagination. Oh, and it's free. What's not to like
  • Lovely spot, tucked away. Nice for a dog walk, perfect for a picnic

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