Ancient Roman houses found under Chichester park

The buildings have survived for more than 1,600 years

Roman buildings discovered under Chichester park

Three Roman buildings have been discovered under a park in Chichester by archaeologists.

Ground-penetrating radar equipment was used to scan the area under the surface in Priory Park.

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According to Chichester District Council the buildings have survived for more than 1,600 years.

James Kenny, an architect with Chichester District Council, said: "What's remarkable about this discovery is that it has survived over 1,000 years in a currently occupied city. The only reason they have survived is because they are under a park that has never been built on.

"It's almost unique to see Roman houses survive in this type of setting and to be so complete.

"The location marks what may have been one of the more affluent parts of the Roman Town, with these houses being the equivalent to a property worth millions of pounds in today's society.

"The two houses have walls surrounding complete rooms, which are set around a courtyard or atrium.

"We are intrigued to find out what this building is. It could be a cellar, part of a bath house, or something even more exciting. We can't wait to find out."

Kenny added that he thought the houses may have been built on a street which is now no longer visible.

A World War Two reservoir that was built in the park may have destroyed this evidence.

The team are keen to spend more time investigating the area with a detailed dig.

Kenny is hoping to run site tours during the dig, allowing members of the public a real insight into the discovery.

Cllr Susan Taylor, Cabinet Member for Planning at Chichester District Council, said the findings were of 'national historical importance'.

"Chichester's rich Roman history already attracts people from far and wide, due to its city walls and Roman Bath House, which is located in our Novium Museum. We hope that these further discoveries will encourage even more people to visit our beautiful city." she said.

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