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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

The Roman Town House Project

June 2020: New access route

Work on the Roman Town House Project is gathering pace. Using social distancing and appropriate safety precautions, construction company Westmade Limited have been working with archaeologists from Context One Heritage and Archaeology and officers from Dorset Council to create a new access to the site. 

View the Roman Town House landscape design plan and read our Design and Access Statement for the project.

Old gateway unblocked

The archaeologists started to open up an old gateway that was blocked up when County Hall was built in the 1930s and 1950s. The blocking had a stone face on one side and brick on the other. It was a big surprise to find a layer of particularly hard concrete sandwiched between these two faces, and specialist equipment had to be used to remove this concrete. 

Archaeological excavations

The archaeologists, assisted by Westmade staff with earth-moving equipment, excavated the area of a new access ramp from the newly-created entrance. The work was done by archaeologists because we thought that the foundations for the ramp were deep enought to cut into the earth bank that was part of the defences of Roman Dorchester. This turned out to be the case, and the archaeologists discovered and recorded layers of chalk, clay and soil that had been built up in Roman times to form the bank. 

New paths

Westmade have also been busy building up the foundations for a new path around the north side of the Roman Town House to give visitors a good view of the site as they approach it. 

Design work

Off site, Smith and Jones Design Consultants of Bristol have been appointed to provide a new interpretation scheme for the site. Several proposals were submitted by professional interpreters and design companies and considered by the Roman Town House Interpretation Group, made up of a wide variety of people who work with the site, before a choice was made.

Get involved

Once the project works are complete, we are looking for people to volunteer to help us:

  • interpret the site for visitors;
  • do basic maintenance and cleaning inside the house;
  • monitor the condition of this special site, and
  • guide visitors inside the building

Volunteering at the Roman Town House

Contact Bridget Betts to find out about volunteering:

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