Visiting Fishbourne Roman Palace All posts

Group Tour at Fishbourne Roman PalaceEaster bank holiday Friday, so I went out on a limb and braved the traffic with the family, which I have to confess was lot quieter than I expected. I’ve wanted to tick Fishbourne Roman Palace off my to do list for a while now. Not only is it the only existing remains of a Roman palace in Britain, but is a cultural and historical landmark.

Fishbourne Palace isn't small, we are not talking about a few helmets, spears and bits of pottery. It is of significant size that you could easily fill a morning or afternoon walking the grounds, taking part in guided tours, reading about the time lines, looking at the artefacts and of course seeing some of the grandeur of the palace in its original form.

Dsiplay and guide at Fishnourne Roman PalaceFirst impressions:
Ample car parking on the grounds.
The staff are very helpful, polite and knowledgeable.
Child friendly – kids can dress up Roman costumes, build mosaics, drawing and colouring, garden to explore.

There are regular guided tours around the palace grounds. We found this highly beneficial to learn of the background stories / facts of the local and Roman activities leading up to the founding and reason for building Fishbourne Palace, its effect and connection with the local community and wider empire. We also sat in on an audio / visual presentation in the auditorium, narrated by Time Team personality Tony Robinson. This was fun in itself, partly because it was informal, but also it was a fun piece of TV broadcasting.

The restorations and mosaic exhibitions:
These were truly remarkable, not only because they were in such good condition, but if you can appreciate their age, their links back to the already advanced civilisation in Rome, compared to England at the time, but also the craftsmanship (hats of to the teams of archaeologists for continued maintenance and house keeping if these treasures).

We are not talking about a few square feet, no, we are talking about several hundred meters, with clearly defined rooms, presenting the different style and periods of mosaic design and laying in the palace during its life. (I've been to ruined Roman villas in Greece and can say we are lucky that Fishbourne has been so well preserved in comparison). Part of the fun and intrigue of the day, is that Fishbourne has a story to tell.

The gardens at Fishbourne Roman Palace, SussexAfter admiring the exhibitions, it was a nice warm sunny spring day, so we took in the gardens, letting our imaginations run away with us on what it might have been like to live or to have visited the palace in its hay-day.

Extend the day:
Time was pressing by this point and it was time for us to go, but if you wish to make more of a day out, there is a café and further exhibition buildings and separate walking trials around the outside of the grounds. The palace is only a stones throw away from some very nice Chichester villages, with nice pubs and the harbour.

Scores on the Doors:
Children: (baby changing, child friendly, things for kids to do) ***
Accessibility: (parking, disabled ramps) **
Amenities: (café, toilets, seated areas) ***

 

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