Fishbourne Roman Palace

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History of the Palace

Fishbourne Roman Palace was discovered by accident in 1960 as a result of the digging for a water main. The discovery was followed by nine seasons of excavations to reveal an intriguing history. It was established that the site had changed from a military base at the time of the Roman invasion in AD43 to a beautiful Palace by the end of the first century. Sussex Archaeological Society continued to excavate up to 2002 which revealed exciting new information about the site, and especially the area in front of the Palace.

Hear the Story

This story is told in an entertaining audio-visual programme and also in the site museum, with the addition of fascinating artefacts from the excavations along with plans, reconstruction drawings and models. The remains of the North Wing of the Palace are enclosed within a cover building for their protection and for the comfort of the visitors. Here can be seen the largest collection of in-situ mosaics in Britain including the famous Cupid on a Dolphin mosaic.

Beautiful Gardens

Outside, the northern half of the formal garden has been replanted to its original plan as recovered by excavation. An attractive plant display area contains a range of plants known to have been cultivated by the Romans. Adjacent to it is a Roman Garden Museum which includes a reconstructed Roman potting shed with a selection of horticultural tools.

Education Programme

Education is a primary role of the Roman Palace. There is a comprehensive education programme with a special emphasis on school groups. There are also new workshops to embellish the AS archaeology certificate taken by 16+ age group. During school holidays there is an opportunity for adults to take part in workshops such as Roman Textiles spinning, weaving and dyeing: Ceramics bonfire kilns, coiling, press moulding and the potter’s wheel: Making Mosaics design, plan and create a beautiful mosaic: Roman Plants and Gardens some of the mysteries of the plants and their uses will be revealed.

Special Events throughout the Year

Throughout the year there are lots of exciting special events from Roman Soldiers and Theatre performances to Musical concerts and cooking demonstrations. There are a wide range of facilities on site including café, car park and disabled access and it is easily reached by public or private transport.

Disabled access

The site offers good physical access, with wide doors and ramps. There are dedicated parking spaces and wheelchair accessible toilets. (One operated by a RADAR key) There are also 2 loan wheelchairs, a tactile handling collection, induction loops and deaf aware staff. The gardens do have gravel pathways but the layout of the area is visible from the colonnade. Only guide dogs are allowed on site or in the buildings.

How to find Fishbourne Roman Palace:

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