Cirencester has a diverse range of shops from small independents to large chain stores

Mulberry Cottages has almost 600 holiday properties in England including over 60 in the Cotswolds, everything from large family homes, romantic love-nests for two, to dog friendly holiday cottages.

In 1789 the opening of a branch of the Thames and Severn Canal provided access to markets further afield, by way of a link through the River Thames. In 1841 a branch railway line was opened to Kemble to provide a link to the Great Western Railway at Swindon. The Midland and South Western Junction Railway opened a station at Watermoor in 1883. Cirencester thus was served by two railway lines until the 1960s.

Interested in volunteering in Cirencester? See our Charity page for local charities

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

In 879AD the Viking Great Army marched across the Cotswolds and encamped for a year in Cirencester.

New Brewery Arts has transformed the former Cotswold stone barrel warehouse into a ‘boutique hostel’ The Barrel Store. Stylish and brilliantly-located, The Barrel Store is clean and comfortable, with hand crafted details.

In Anglo-Saxon times the name of the town was written Cirrenceastre or Cyrneceastre (the Saxon 'c' was pronounced like the 'ch' in change). The Normans mispronounced the 'ch' sound as [ts], resulting in the modern name Cirencester /ˈsaɪərənsɛstər/. The form Ciceter /ˈsɪsᵻtər/ was once used locally as an abbreviation. Sometimes the form Cicester /ˈsɪsᵻstər/ was heard instead. These forms are now very rarely used, while many local people abbreviate the name to Ciren /ˈsaɪərən/.

The English Civil War came to Cirencester in February 1643 when Royalists and Parliamentarians came to blows in the streets. Over 300 were killed, and 1,200 prisoners were held captive in the church. The townsfolk supported the Parliamentarians but gentry and clergy were for the old order, so that when Charles I of England was executed in 1649 the minister, Alexander Gregory, wrote on behalf of the gentry in the parish register, "O England what did'st thou do, the 30th of this month".

As part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, Henry VIII ordered the total demolition of the Abbey buildings. Today only the Norman Arch and parts of the precinct wall remain above ground, forming the perimeter of a public park in the middle of town. Despite this, the freedom of a borough continued to elude the townspeople, and they only saw the old lord of the manor replaced by a new lord of the manor as the King acquired the abbey's title.

A Caravan Club site adjoins the park and has a connecting footpath.

The park design is said to have been largely inspired, by baroque geometry with intentions to make it both useful and peaceful, this has certainly been achieved. It is these attributes that attract walkers to visit.

Shopping in Cirencester with its wonderful variety of quality independent shops is a delight. Enjoy exploring the courtyards with their individual style, and the many historic streets radiating from the town centre.

NoonBehind the church lie the Abbey Grounds, once home to an Augustinian monastery, demolished in 1539. Take a walk here and into the  countryside beyond, via a trail through a Norman archway (the only remaining building of the abbey) and across the A417 to Harebushes Wood. There’s a circular route of about 45 minutes, returning beside the A429 Burford road.

The Fleece (2) (Market Place; 01285 658507;, a very central old coaching inn, had a major makeover in 2011. Reception is oddly subsumed into the bar area, behind which is an elegant upscale restaurant. The 28 bedrooms are pleasingly furnished in quiet colours. Doubles from £85.

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The Cirencester website is ranked number 1 by Google when searching for "Cirencester", and also has top rankings for many Cirencester related searches which means it really is the place to tell people about your business or service.

Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, is a charming town with a population of around 18,000 people set in the English Cotswolds. The actual population of the Cirencester Parish was recorded as 18,324 (8,920 males and 9,404 females) in 7,866 households in the 2001 Census.

Cirencester is also renowned for a wonderful selection of indoor and outdoor markets held in the beautiful and historic Market Place. 

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. A local grammar school provided education for those who could afford it, and businesses thrived in the town, which was the major urban centre for the surrounding area.

Cirencester is an affluent and picturesque market town often known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. It lies at the crossroads of three Roman roads, which gives a clue to its importance during Roman times. Roman Cirencester, known as ‘Corinium Dobunnorum’, was second only to London. It developed from the establishment of a military fort and grew into a town with a population between 10,000 and 15,000.

Alfreds Hall folly was built in the grounds of Cirencester Park, begun 1721, designed by Lord Bathurst with Alexander Pope's advice, completed 1732. Probably the earliest 18th century mock Gothic castle; part former house, part banqueting house and part mock ruin. Located in Oakley Wood, with rides radiating from it through the wood.

Planning on visiting the amazing Cotswold Water Park?...If so, click here to get the latest information direct from the official Cotswolds tourism site!

Yew Tree Cottage in the Cotswolds Hamlet of Sudgrove is half a mile from Miserden. Relax in the garden or by a log fire, walk local footpaths or explore the scenic Cotswold countryside, towns and villages by car.

Dog owners are permitted to walk their pets (on a lead and must not be allowed to foul). See notice at park entrance, which gives the permitted areas. Visitors on horseback are allowed to exercise their horses. Unaccompanied children are not permitted and visitors must take their litter home. Benches are placed at intervals for those who just wish to take their ease.

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The Cotswolds - Find out a more about the area of the country in which Cirencester is located.

Cirencester is also home to New Brewery Arts, an important centre for crafts. Here you can watch the various craftsmen at work, buy the articles they produce, view the latest exhibition or enjoy refreshments in the café.

In return for Pope’s assistance in design and practical help, Lord Bathurst created a folly in his park, which he named Pope’s Seat, after his friend.

Welcome to the Cirencester website,, a guide to the Cotswold town of Cirencester including Cirencester accommodation, Cirencester events, Cirencester news, Cirencester shopping and jobs in Cirencester.

This show is a family fun day with events to suit all. Included is a monster truck show, exhibitions, country pursuits a dog show and much more.

The Church of St. John the Baptist, Cirencester is renowned for its Perpendicular Gothic porch, fan vaults and merchants' tombs.

Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cirencester is a great town to visit and makes a delightful base for visitors wishing to explore the area. Its easy access to major road networks and mainline railway belies its charming and peaceful character.

Luxury 18 bedroom hotel, once the home of the late famous garden designer Rosemary Verey. Beautiful Cotswold house built in 1697 set in stunning gardens, with contemporary bedrooms.

New Brewery Arts is the home of craft and making in the heart of the Cotswolds, with galleries, artists’ studios, café and shop, and guest accommodation, and an extensive programme of courses and workshops (over 200 each year). Admission is free.

Opening hours 9am –5pm. Admission is free with the kind permission of Lord Bathurst. Amongst events held in the park is the Cotswold Show, the dates for 2008 being Saturday 5th July and Sunday 6th July.

11am See one of the finest “wool” churches in the Cotswolds. The parish church of St John the Baptist (9, see image below) is renowned for the Gothic flourishes in its south porch and fan vaulting – funded by wool merchants whose crests adorn the pillars (Sunday Eucharist is at 10am).

The town contains many interesting buildings spanning several centuries.

With its width of 4.8 kilometres and a length of 8 kilometres and occupying some 3000 acres it provides an opportunity for the visitor to walk in a relaxed environment.

Mid-range Corinium Hotel (1) (12 Gloucester Street; 01285 659711; is a five-minute walk from the centre. Set in the 16th-century house of a wool merchant, it offers 15 comfy bedrooms (some with four-posters) and a sunny garden. Doubles from £110.