Sunday, 17 June 2012

Enchanted Land: Chedworth Roman Villa

After I went to Chipping Campden I twoddled on to Chedworth Roman Villa, partly for a cuppa break but partly because it is in my Enchanted Land book. Now I have to admit that on my drive there me and my so-called trusty sat nav had a slight argument (well I shouted at it because I thought we were lost but as it turns out I was about 100 yards around the corner from it). Anyway, thankfully Chedworth Roman Villa is a National Trust property which meant I got in free. If you are looking for somewhere to break a journey as I was, this is the perfect place. Not big enough to feel guilty about leaving early and not small enough not to go. There is a small cafe, a museum and of course the lovely grounds and mosaics.

Enchanted Land describes Chedworth as:
"Far away from the busy world is a Roman house that all may see, the villa at Chedworth cared for by The National Trust. It Lies in a valley like a miniature Switzerland, splendidly excavated and preserved with all its rooms and passages since it was found through a ferret losing its way in a rabbit hole."

A valley which is like a miniature Switzerland? I was there! I love the Alps and yes this valley may not have lived up to my expectations as a miniature Switzerland, but it was beautiful. For the villa, I had to park in the over-flow car park and on my way out do one of the steepest hill starts I have ever done! Anyway, The National Trust have done a brilliant job of creating a modern visitor centre and of course un-covering the mosaics.

The mosaics were alluring and delicate, to be honest I haven't seen mosaics for years. Possibly since my primary school went for one of our many school visits to Fishbourne Roman Villa. They were of course all covered by a modern building and you had the typical 'roman voices' displays playing in the background (which to be honest was rather annoying, now I know why so many people were walking round the villa with audio tour's in their ears). They also had one of those re-enactment people making cloth, not to sound grumpy but they annoy me too!

It is a great place to understand how the roman's lived and what their buildings looked like. And for an afternoon out I would recommend it, yes the valley was not a miniature Switzerland but it was close, just without the clanging of cow bells and no Alps in the distant.

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