Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in Cotswold District. It is home of the Royal Agricultural College, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world founded in 1840. The town’s Corinium Museum is well-known for its extensive Roman collection. The Roman name for this place was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British Cornovii tribe, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in 150 AD.
Even in Roman times, there was a thriving wool trade and industry, which contributed to the growth of Corinium. A large forum and basilica was built over the site of the fort, and archeological evidence shows signs of further civic growth. When a wall was erected around the Roman city in the late second century, it enclosed 240 acres (1 kmÂ²), making Corinium, in area, the second-largest city in Britain.