Dorchester in Dorset was a Roman town and there is plenty of visible evidence. The most outstanding remains are of a Town House in Colliton Park, just behind the County Hall in the centre of Dorchester.
TV series Time Team presenter, Tony Robinson has described the site as “…the only example of a fully exposed Roman Town House in the country and is definitely the best preserved.”
The site contains the remains of two houses and ancillary buildings constructed between 300-409 AD. The beautiful mosaic floors uncovered are now protected by a structure with glass walls so their full beauty can be admired.
The archaeologists have revealed a home of obviously wealthy and educated people. There are hypocausts showing that some of the rooms had underfloor heating, a well, a lime kiln where mortar was made for binding the walls together, a classical column, remnants of plastered walls painted Pompeian red and beautiful mosaic floors.
Artefacts at County Museum
A wealth of artefacts was found which are now on display in the Dorset County Museum. Most poignant of all was the discovery of 5 infant burials beneath the floor and walls of one of the rooms. Two were foetuses obviously from miscarriages, and two of still births or death shortly after birth. It is a reminder of how perilous life was for Roman women, even wealthy ones.
It is worth going to the official website (link below) and browsing through the menu on the page. Here you can find artists reconstructions of how it all looked in the 4th and 5th centuries, as well as photos of the finds and mosaics.
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