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Roman Chichester

Roman Gallery

As you enter The Novium Museum, you are invited to step back in time to discover Chichester's rich Roman heritage. Centered around the breath-taking archaeological remains of a Roman bath house, our ground floor Roman Gallery features the stunning Chilgrove Mosaic as well as objects discovered in excavations across Chichester District. 

Highlights within this gallery include:

Roman Bath House

In both 1960 and 1971-1973 archaeologists recorded evidence of a major Roman public building, lying at least partly under the car park that stood opposite the library on Tower Street. Evidence recovered from each archaeological intervention through this period included  finds associated with a hypocaust, a floor made from hard white chalk tesserae, large amounts of fragmentary painted wall plaster, broken roof tile and other masonry and substantial wall foundations. The size of the building, and the presence of a hypocaust system presented the tantalising possibility that this was Chichester's Roman bath house.

After several excavations, and many years, the bath house was finally fully excavated and is now the heart of The Novium Museum. To learn more about the bath house, please read our blog post: Bath house

Chilgrove Mosaic

In 1963 a farmer was ploughing a field in the Chilgrove valley. His plough struck a stone object, which on inspection turned out to be the remains of a small Roman column or pedestal. Excavations revealed two Roman villas within a mile of each other, and a third villa at Upmarden. The Chilgrove mosaic was discovered in Room 6 of Chilgrove Villa I and dates from the 4th century AD.

To learn more about this stunning mosaic, please read our blog post here: Chilgrove Mosaic

Jupiter Stone

The Jupiter Stone was discovered during excavations on West Street in 1934. It was found in what had been identified as a midden (a rubbish dump), and had probably originally stood close to its find spot.

There have been a number of dates suggested for the stone, ranging from the late first century AD, to the late second to early third century AD.

The Jupiter Stone is carved from sandstone, and would most likely have formed part of a statue base. This would have formed a pedestal base on top of which was likely to have been a column topped with an image of the Roman god Jupiter.

To learn more about this piece, please read our blog post here:

Jupiter Stone

 

All of these objects can be viewed in the Roman Chichester gallery at The Novium Museum, along with other treasures excavated from various sites across the district.

Admission free, with donations gratefully accepted.