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A Day Out at Chedworth Roman Villa – Thoroughly Modern Grandma

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posted April 2nd 2018

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National Trust
We’ve had a National Trust family membership for years. It’s great fun going out for the day exploring, and with an annual family membership we can take up to 10 children. We only have 3 Grandchildren, I can’t imagine taking 10 for a day out!
The diversity of National Trust properties is amazing, and we have lots to choose from in and around Oxfordshire. The boys especially enjoy it when there are Easter Egg Hunts as a chocolate egg or bunny at the end of a Treasure Hunt is always a good incentive.
It’s always great to visit historic places as well and Chedworth Roman Villa is one of the boys’ favourites. We visited back in the Summer as Grandson No 1 was learning about the Romans at school and they had a school outing to Chedworth. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very well on the day, so he couldn’t go. As we didn’t want him to miss out we planned a visit the following week when he was feeling better and took all three Grandsons. Everyone loved it as there is so much to see and do.
Chedworth Roman Villa
Chedworth Roman Villa is near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, which is around 40 miles from where we live in Oxfordshire. It only takes just over an hour by car and is quite a pretty journey so is perfect for a day out. We went to Chedworth in the Summer and were lucky that we had a warm sunny day and in hindsight should have taken a picnic with us. We will definitely remember to take one next time.
It is believed Chedworth Villa was built in phases from the early 2nd century to the 4th century AD, with the early 4th century phase transforming it into the house, built around a courtyard, of a rich family. It’s not possible to know for certain who lived at Chedworth as nothing has been found to directly link it. From the elaborate mosaics and size of the Villa it’s obvious that whoever owned Chedworth would have enjoyed wealth and status. It is thought that they may have been on the council that looked after the local area. They may not have been Roman at all although they were living in a Romanised way.
As I mentioned Grandson No1 was learning about the Romans at school and they were due to visit Chedworth on a school trip but he was unwell on the day. We love taking the boys out and about. We knew they’d love it there as there are so many hands on activities.

Chedworth Inside
What The Boys Got Up To
The boys loved wandering around the remains of the Villa looking at the mosaics and remains of the under floor heating, especially as Grandson No 1 was learning about the Romans at school.
Grandad is an Engineer so he was able to explain to them how the underfloor heating worked and as boys do they’ve loved hearing about how the sewage system worked!
There’s also an Activity room where the boys made mosaics and did some brass rubbing.

We borrowed the Family tracker packs from the Reception and went on a bug and wildlife hunt. There are lots of trails and walks around the area which are great for exploring, Grandson No 3 found a frog which he was fascinated by.
Chedworth is also home to Roman snails which are a protected species and very rare and we were lucky enough to spot some although I did have to stop the littlest Grandson picking one up as he’s bug mad.
The museum with its Roman artefacts from the site is great to wander around. The boys did some brass rubbing and made some mosaics. The highlight of their day was finding the basket of Roman dressing up clothes and swords which they quickly put to good use. Although Grandson No 3 was too eager to get to the gift shop that he skipped the dressing up although he did have a bit of a sword fight with his brothers.

We had a quick snack and drink in the small cafe which was very good and catered for both children and adults alike with a good selection of cakes and sandwiches. Although there is plenty of space to picnic and the views are stunning, so I wished we’d packed a picnic.
As with most days out we finished our day with a visit to the gift shop to buy a small memento of the day, much to Grandson no 3’s delight.
It was a great day out and we all enjoyed it, the boys were keen to tell Mum and Dad all about it. It’s always lovely to take the Boys out on trips as they’re always so keen to learn and discover new things. Grandad loves being able to pass on his knowledge and I just love spending time with them.
We are planning a return trip as Grandson no 2 will soon be starting to learn about the Romans and I’m also keen to see the new discoveries they have uncovered.
You can find full details of opening times etc on the National Trust Chedworth Roman Village Page.

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