Friday, 11 April 2008

Afternoon in Cirencester

Well, I am trying to get all of my pictures caught up onto the blog . . . and I'm doing it in order. So naturally everything is several weeks outdated. But better late than never I suppose! A couple weeks ago we had a fabulous little Sunday afternoon excursion to Cirencester . . . which is the old Roman city of Corinium. It was apparently the 2nd largest Roman city in Britain, with London being the largest . . . and it was built throughout the first century. There is a fabulous museum there, featuring all of the things that they have found in the city . . . enormous mosaic floors, jewelry, column capitals, weapons . . . all in all it was loads of fun. There was even a section for the kids to try on Roman armour. (Although, is it just me, or does it seem a little funny to have the Romans wearing chain mail? I kind of thought they did the big breastplate and shin-guard jobbies.)
Here is Knox putting on his best fierce Roman soldier face.

Jemima testing out how she'd like to be a warrior princess.

Belphoebe . . . dressed like her namesake from the
Faerie Queen! (Although missing the
leather breeches.)

Hero looking very ferocious indeed.

. . . . and Judah, feeling exceptionally pleased with himself.

And finally, Daddy is incredibly authentic, don't you think?

Then we stopped and looked at the Abbey. It had just closed, so we couldn't get in . . . but we enjoyed the outside quite a bit. It almost looks like it has a flying buttress that has been worked in as a wall to another portion of the church . . . weird. We haven't seen any others like that.

Here are the kids, huddled in the corner and freezing to death . . . .

And here's what the picture looks like zoomed out.
There is also an old Roman amphitheater in the town, so of course we had to stop to see that. If you really squint there are small colored dots in the background that are actually our children, terry-hooting around on the far wall.

This is what the amphiteatre looks like as you approach it. And then when you crest that big hill you look down into the amphitheater itself.

All in all, it was a spectacular Sunday afternoon! And Knox is reading The Eagle of the Ninth right now, so he's hoping to catch a reference to Corinium.


Maggie said...

Hi Merkle gang,

What grand adventures!!

I have a couple of questions for you. First of all, my youngest daughter, Sara, needs a couple of skirties. She is eight and on the tall side. What size would you recommend?

Secondly, and on a completely different vein, our gang is thinking about taking a few days leave in England/Whales enroute to the US in middle June. What would you consider the "must see" sites? We plan to take a day in London and probably rent a car to visit Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Stonehenge. A castle or two would be nice. I have fond memories of visiting Conway castle on a high school trip, way back when. I need to look at a map and see if we're trying to pack too much into four days;) Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter. You know what it's like to travel with kids and what would be especially exciting for them.

Hope all is going well with you. Is it starting to feel like Spring yet,in your neck of the woods, or still shaking off winter?

Thanks for any and all insights,
Maggie Duke

Bekah Merkle said...

Hi Maggie,

OK . . . I'm thinking that a size Large would be perfect for your daughter. Since my website is down at the moment, you could drop me an email at and we could go from there.

And as for your trip - that sounds like a blast! If you're going to be in Stratford-Upon-Avon then you should really stop at Warwick Castle - it's quite close. But I'll keep thinking for any more hot ideas . . . so drop me an email and I'll reply there!

Deborah said...

Hi Merkles! Enjoyed reading about your latest adventure! (Or the most recent posted...) I read The Eagle of the Ninth over Christmas (Laura brought it back from their trip to England last summer) and thoroughly enjoyed it too, Knox! I cann't recall if there was any mention of Corinium though...

Hello to Brooke, and blessings to you all from the Beauchamps!


McManus Fam said...

Hi, Merkles! Hope all is well ... we just wanted to send you all a big "HOWDY" from Montana.