School Trip to the Corinium Museum by Hannah Atkinson, Anna Pickerell and Jessica Morris, Year 8 - S
On Wednesday 13 May the whole of Years 7 and 8 were fortunate to go on a trip to Chedworth Roman villa, and the museum at ‘Corinium’, or Cirencester, as most of us now know it. In Roman times this city was one of the largest towns in the country. We ventured round the museum, taking photos and exploring with the help of our really useful worksheets. There were numerous ancient artefacts on show such as some fantastic mosaics, and a well-known acrostic which is believed to be an early Christian coded message. The museum did a good job of showing us the differences between then and our society nowadays.
As part of our visit, we had an education workshop, called ‘Meet the Romans’, which was great fun. Each table of our girls was given objects from an ancient person’s life, and we had to make an educated guess on what sort of person it was: young or old, poor or rich etc. Then we looked at the tombstones of various people and had to translate the writing on them. Four of us also had the chance to dress up. We found it quite shocking to see what they wore, especially the shoes! They looked extremely uncomfortable!
After Cirencester we returned to the coach and set off for Chedworth Roman villa for the afternoon. We had our lunch there. As usual there was plenty of really good food provided by the kitchens, so we tucked in. The location was stunning, the sun was shining and we all wished we lived there! We gathered around our tour guides as they explained via a model what the villa originally looked like. It consisted of three large buildings in a U shape and two large courtyards. There were grand reception rooms, underfloor heating, a pair of bath houses and fine mosaic floors, some of which are still intact. We visited the villa’s nymphaeum or pond, a truly magical and enchanting spot. We were all fascinated about how they were able to extract clean water from the hills around, and transport it around the house through hollowed logs.
In the bath house we learned about their bathing routines. The techniques they used were very different from those we use today and we all wanted to know what it was like to be in that bathing house. One vulgar technique was how they mixed their sweat with oil and used it to make hair gel! We saw more stunning mosaics and wished we had some of those mosaics in our own houses. Overall the whole day was an experience to remember and we will never forget the size of the snails, which are still all around the villa. To think the Romans brought the ancestors of those snails to Chedworth 1800 years ago! Thank you, Mrs Baird and the other teachers for organizing the day: we all thought it was well-planned, with lots of food, great weather and a nice bus!