Remains of Roman bath house

Photo courtesy of Chichester District Council

We are both fascinated by Roman Britain. And plenty of evidence of their sojourn in England has been found both in Chichester and the surrounding area. So on hearing that a new museum (The Novium) had opened in the city we set off to learn more.

The museum is in a modern building in Tower St a stone’s throw from the Cathedral. It would appear that the museum has been built over the remains of a thermae – a large public bath house, which was unearthed during archaeological excavations in the 1970s. The city we know as Chichester in Roman times was known as Noviomagus Reginorum. The ruins are well-preserved and make for an interesting exhibit on the ground floor, along with the ‘Jupiter Stone (part of the base of a statue) clearly dedicated to the god Jupiter and part of a mosaic floor which was part of villa built not far from Chichester.

We and a party of school children were obviously fascinated by the audio visual exhibit playing behind the excavations; we watched it a couple of times.

The other floors are chiefly dedicated to more recent local history and from the second floor there is a stunning view out over chimney pots, roofs and the lovely Cathedral.

There is a small shop, but unfortunately no café. Basic admittance price for adults £7. J.H. www.thenovium.org

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