Fishbourne, England: A sumptuous Roman palace from the 1st century AD

Fishbourne Roman Palace

This evening, I am posting summary information on Fishbourne Roman Palace which s the largest domestic Roman building yet found in Britain.
  • Located near Chichester, West Sussex, about 80 miles S.W. of London.
  • May have been built for Tiberius Claudius Togidumnus, a native local British king of the first century AD who supported the Roman invasion and became a client king and adopted Roman ways.
  • The local tribe ruled by Togidumnus were called  the Regni.
  • Palace was built between AD 75 and AD 80.
  • A large and impressive structure comprising four wings surrounding a large formal garden supplemented with more gardens to the south leading down to the harbour.
  • The building (not to mention occupant) was of such importance that the road from the local capital of Noviomagus (Chichester) ran directly to the large entrance hall that stood at centre of the east wing.
  • Decline set in around AD 270 when part of the Palace was destroyed by fire and the rest demolished with stone and tiles recycled.
  • The north, east and west wings have been excavated. Latter include parts of five mosaic floors and an under-floor heating system.
  • The site is open March – Oct  every day 10am – 5pm with restricted hours either side of these months.
Floor of dining room in north wing
Hypocaust underfloor heating

Floor in north wing

Formal Garden

Hollows in the mosaic caused by floor sinking into tops of post holes dug my Roman military soon after arrival in Britain.

Roman Pottery


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