Beauport Park Roman Bath House

In February 1999 Time Team broadcast a programme from Beauport Park in Sussex. In the 1960’s An amateur archaeologist – Gerald Brodribb had excavated here after finding a reference on an old map of a ‘site of Roman Bloomery’. After three years of finding pottery and road surfaces he found masonry close to the surface using divining rods. This turned out to be a rare example of a Roman Bath house with its walls still standing and was fully excavated in the early 1970’s. This site is now fully scheduled as an Ancient Monument and lies on private land . Rob Burns , an archaeologist , arranged with the Beauport Park Archaeological Trust for one of their representatives to be on site to show a small group of us around. Due to work commitments Rob couldn't be with us on the day. We were met at the Beauport Park hotel by Mr Lister from the Trust and one of his colleagues in very wet weather ! We drove through tiny lanes behind the Georgian Beauport Park Hotel for about ¾ mile where we parked our muddy cars and walked the remainder of the way through the overgrown and hilly woodland. Ahead of us was this ramshackle hill-billy type building made of corrugated iron and perpex roofing – this was what we had come to see. layout of the bath house

As we entered the building which had been erected over the Bath House in the 1970’s to protect it we were faced with sand and plastic sheeting – not quite what we had expected !

outside wall

Window

inside wall

Box flue

Classis Britannica. The classis Britannica was the naval fleet which performed a logistical role for the Roman Army in Britain. They were stationed in Gaul but had bases in South East England. Members of the fleet were obliged to serve 26 years before earning citizenship at the end of service. Until the late third century the Classis Britannica seems to have operated almost entirely in the logistics role by:
• • •

transporting the invasion army provisioning the units in northern Britain managing the iron industry in the Weald of what is now Kent and Sussex

The iron production at Beauport Park appears to have been controlled by the Classis Britannica .

Many of the tegula at Beauport Park are stamped with the letters CL BR - over 1600 have been found with these markings. These markings are to indicate ownership in the same way as Government property is stamped today.

metalled road

 

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