Step Back in time at Fishbourne Roman Palace Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens in West Sussex is the largest Roman home in Britain, a lavish residence fit for royalty.
Where is Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens located?
Fishbourne Roman Palace is in Fishbourne town, in West Sussex, Chichester.
What is the history of Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens to the present day?
The site at Fishbourne was first used by the Romans as a military base in the early stages of the British invasion, from AD 43(75). The abandonment for military purposes was followed rapidly by two periods of residential development, the second between AD 65 and AD 75 until AD 75. the site for the building of the present palace, probably for the British client King Togidubnus, had been cleared and levelled. It underwent significant change and growth from AD 100 to 200, until it was destroyed by fire in the 280s. The subsequent robbing of soil, weathering, worm and farming activity reduced the contours to an even slope. While the sporadic discovery of Roman artefacts was reported from 1805, proper site investigation and identification of a major, late C1 building occurred only after a trench for a water-was cut in 1960. Between 1961 and 1968 a series of major excavations were carried out that brought to light the history and size and function of the Palace, its gardens and surroundings. Most of the site was purchased by the Sussex Archeological Society and the present museum was built which opened to the public in 1968. It remains in their possession (1997), while the rest of the (unexcavated) site is in various public and private domain.
What is there to see and do at Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens?
Sign up for a guided tour and let the experts talk you through this fascinating historic site, unearthed as recently as 1960. You can still see evidence of the timber buildings that the Romans built when they first arrived here and the subsequent bathhouse which they created, which was a focal point for Roman society. There were around seven different rooms in this palace that were connected with cleanliness and relaxation. The palace was built as a series of extensions and a walk around the North Wing and its suite of rooms today really conjurs up life for the wealthy Romans who lived here. Look down and you'll see incredible mosaic floor work – see if you can spot the different between the ones done by master craftsmen from Rome and those done by their trainee students from the UK. Don't miss the wonderful garden, a delightful formal affair replanted using the original late first century bedding trenches.