Travels in Southern England – Fishbourne Palace

May 17, 2015

Sunday 17th May

Today I visited the Roman Palace at Fishbourne. I remember it being discovered in the 1960s when I was a school boy but I do not remember ever visiting it. It was found by construction workers who uncovered a mosaic floor when digging up land to lay drainage pipes for a new housing development. The floor, known as the Dolphin mosaic, was almost perfectly intact and astounding in its beauty. Fortunately, the land was then bought by a rich benefactor so that the housing development did not take place and further discoveries could be made.

Fishbourne Roman Palace Illustration of the Palace as it may have appeared at the end of the first century AD

Dolphin Mosaic Floor at Fisbourne Roman PalaceThe Dolphin Mosaic, Fishbourne Palace

It certainly seems that it was a grand palace and that an important local ruler lived here. In its heyday it probably housed about a hundred people, which included men, woman, children and slaves. It is now considered an important part of Britain’s heritage and is well worth a visit.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

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