- David Elder
15th October 2022
Cirencester is one of the most remarkable towns in Britain. From its Roman beginnings around AD 75, when it was classed second only in importance to London, to its current status as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’, it has always punched well above its weight. The ‘A-side’ of its history as a small market town which developed at the centre of the Cotswold wool trade is well documented, but what about its ‘ ip-side’? Much of the town’s fascinating history has either been overlooked or lies hidden below the surface. Well-known local author David Elder delves deep into Cirencester’s lost, forgotten and hidden histories, recounting some remarkable stories. Learn, for example, about some of Cirencester’s minor celebrities and local characters, including the Victorian female astronomer who became a national expert in sunspots and solar eclipses. He also unearths fascinating facts, celebrating, for example, the town’s accolade of having the UK’s oldest public outdoor swimming pool in continuous use, and explaining why it was important for passengers travelling on the railways around the mid-nineteenth century to understand that Cirencester time was 7 ½ minutes earlier than London time.
With tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and tucked-away or disappeared historical buildings and locations, Secret Cirencester will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this town in Gloucestershire.