Fishbourne Roman Palace and Museum
The Roman Era
Title: Fishbourne Roman Palace and Museum
Description: Many mosaic floors, under-floor heating systems and bath suites from the north wing of this 1st century Roman Palace can be found undercover. Outside, the formal garden has been replanted following the original Roman plan. Also available is the ‘Palace Café’.
Address: Roman Way, Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex
Post Code: PO19 3QR
One of the most important British archaeological discoveries of the century, the remains of the Roman Palace, first came to light in 1960 when workmen were installing a new water main.
After digging into foundations and mosaics, the site was handed over to archaeologists who went on to uncover a military supply base from AD43 and the palace from around AD75.
The military base was established at the time of Roman invasion along with other civilian buildings, which have been found. The Palace itself rivalled in size the imperial palaces of Rome, and it is possible that it was constructed for the Celtic king, Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus.
During the period between 1995 and 1999 the discovery of the remains of a large building that may have been a military headquarters was also made and although now covered over, artefacts from this building can be found in the museum.
Bedding trenches, postholes and tree pits survived centuries of ploughing giving an indication as to the form the Roman garden might have taken, and this has now been replanted. Beside the Roman Garden Museum, which features Roman gardens from Italy as well as Britain, stands a new area displaying the plants grown by the Romans.
Displays include a Roman Potting Shed with its horticultural tools and implements, and twenty spectacular mosaic floors - 'The Cupid on a Dolphin' being one of the most beautiful. Also available is a historical walk through Roman life aided by plans, photographs, models and an audio-visual programme.