Ancient Monuments

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Colliton Park Roman house

A Scheduled Monument in Dorchester, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7175 / 50°43'2"N

Longitude: -2.4411 / 2°26'28"W

OS Eastings: 368953.815661

OS Northings: 90963.121917

OS Grid: SY689909

Mapcode National: GBR PY.R6W3

Mapcode Global: FRA 57S5.SXY

Entry Name: Colliton Park Roman house

Scheduled Date: 18 May 1938

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002721

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 141

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Dorchester

Built-Up Area: Dorchester

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Dorchester and West Stafford

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Roman town house in Colliton Park immediately north of County Hall.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 December 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a Roman town house situated in the north western corner of the Roman town of Dorchester overlooking the River Frome. The town house was one of eight buildings found in Colliton Park by Drew and Collingwood Selby prior to the construction of a new County Hall and excavated in 1937-8. ‘Building 1’ survives as two separate ranges of stone buildings which were never directly interconnecting, aligned east to west and north to south. These had undergone a series of developmental changes through time. There was also evidence for an L-shaped post built timber building which may have contained the kitchen but which was demolished in the 4th century and covered with cobbles. The western range contained the eight living rooms, with the bath suite and service rooms to the south. The walls were constructed of flint and the roof was originally stone tiled. There were eight tessellated floors and two rooms had hypocausts. An unlined well was sunk through the forecourt and is protected but still visible. The walls survive to a height of 1.9m and are laid in herringbone courses. They were originally plastered and painted both internally and externally. Additional architectural features included stone column bases, hearths and ovens. The artefacts recovered included a decorative chair leg of Kimmeridge shale and decorated pottery. These indicate a date for the dwelling of between the 3rd and 4th centuries with apparent abandonment by about AD 375. The surviving walls, well and the covered tessellated floors and hypocausts remain open to inspection. This is the only Roman town house visible in Britain. The Roman town house is Listed Grade I.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The importance of this building cannot be over emphasised since it is the only Roman town house on view in Britain and has revealed a great deal of information regarding the development, construction, functions and organisation of the dwelling house within a Romano-British town.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-453300

Source: Historic England

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