Fishbourne Roman Villa

Fishbourne Travel Blog

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Inside view of Fishbourne Roman Palace, showing a sample of the underfloor heating system.

We took Noel's mum out today, a bit further afield than normal, with a visit to Fishbourne Roman Villa.  All that remains now are a large selection of floor mosaics, which have been excavated and housed in a large shed.  There is also a museum housing many of the finds that were discovered during excavation.  The palace itself was massive, and much of it cannot be excavated as it lies under the houses that sprung up around the site over the past couple of hundred years.  The mosaics are very interesting, and the volunteer guides can tell you lots of stories about their history, and point out little things that you might not notice yourself.  Some of the floors are very elaborate and skilfully done, while others appear more rough - this is due to the local artisans learning the skill from the Roman imports and, of course, not being as trained produced lesser quality work.

One of the fabulous mosaics at Fishbourne, but even this one has its faults (you'll have to go there to find out!).
  You can also look down upon a complete skeleton lying in the middle of one floor - he is an unknown pagan burial, interred long after the palace burnt down, and the locals at the time would not have even known the villa had been there.  Other skeletons were also found, but this one has bee left in place - quite a startling contrast to the intricate floors surrounding him.  The museum was also very good - lots of everyday items like jewellery and nails, as well as detailed sculptures and even wooden beams that are almost perfectly preserved.  It is fascinating to mull over the fact that these things were handled and seen everyday by people almost 2000 years ago, and we can look and learn from them all this time later.

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Inside view of Fishbourne Roman Pa…
Inside view of Fishbourne Roman P…
One of the fabulous mosaics at Fis…
One of the fabulous mosaics at Fi…
Our pagan friend, buried where the…
Our pagan friend, buried where th…
Fishbourne
photo by: sissanoel