Chichester Roman baths uncovered – link with new museum

From the Portsmouth News

AN IMPORTANT archaeological site that was once an ornate Roman baths is about to be uncovered for the first time in 17 years.

The Roman baths in Chichester were first discovered in the 1970s by Chichester archaeologist Alec Down and his team of volunteers.

The baths will form a key feature of the proposed Chichester District Museum and will be temporarily uncovered for archaeologists to inspect the relics.

Archaeology South East will be carrying out exploratory work on the site in Tower Street over a four-week period from Tuesday.

The baths are currently buried under a car park, which will be closed during the works and trees felled to assist the archaeologists.

Plans for a museum on the Tower Street site will include the re-excavation of the baths, allowing the remains to go on permanent display.

Councillor Nick Thomas, who is in charge of culture at Chichester District Council, said: 'While the district museum will tell the story of the whole district and be a hub for the area's heritage, having these remains is a great bonus.

'The whole team is looking forward to seeing the remains and checking their condition so that we can safeguard them in the new building.

'Although access to the car park will be closed, members of the public will be able to see the work in progress from the footpaths around the edge of the car park, giving them a glimpse of what they can expect to see at the proposed museum.'

After the excavations are complete, the lower, larger part of the car park will be re-opened, but to protect the Roman remains, the upper area will remain closed to car parking.

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