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Highlights at Canterbury Roman Museum

 

Planning a visit? Don't miss our top ten must see exhibits.

 

Roman hypocaust excavated in Canterbury

Roman hypocaust

When excavating under cellars of shops destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, archaeologists discovered parts of a very large Roman town house. It had costly features – a ‘hypocaust’ under-floor heating system, floor mosaics and wall paintings.

 

 

Roman mosaic pavement

Roman mosaics

The floor of the Roman town house, around which the museum is built, has a paving of plain stone ‘tesserae’ with mosaic insets. These have geometrical flower patterns with interlaced borders.

 

 

 

Canterbury Roman glass

Roman glass

Canterbury Roman Museum has many beautiful and unusual examples of Roman glassware and the collection is exceptional for a regional museum. Excavations in Canterbury and East Kent have produced a very wide range of Romano-British glass vessels and fragments, dating from the mid-first century AD to at least the end of the fourth century.

 

Roman balsamarium on display at the Canterbury Heritage Museum

Roman balsamarium

Coming Soon! A star find from Roman Britain in 2012 and a new gift to the museum. This rare bronze container for oil or perfume was found near Petham in 2012 by a metal detectorist. It is decorated with a dancing satyr - half goat, half man - and three male figures. They are dancing in a wood, playing the pipes and carrying an amphora of wine.

 

Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings © Canterbury Archaeologist Trust

Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings

Displayed at Canterbury Roman Museum is part of one of the most complete sets of Roman cavalry horse-harness fittings in the world. The set was found in 1979 during archaeological excavations in the Marlowe car park, between St Margaret’s Street and Rose Lane.

 

 

Roman cavalry swords

Roman cavalry swords

Evidence of a double murder! Excavated in Canterbury during the 1970s, archaeologists found a grave with skeletons of two young men, aged about twenty and thirty. Their bodies appeared to have been thrown hurriedly into the grave. Romans usually buried their dead outside the city walls but this grave was found inside.

 

Roman breastfeeding goddess

Roman breastfeeding goddess

Dea Nutrix is the Romanised version of a Celtic goddess of fertility and childbirth, represented as a seated woman breastfeeding two babies.

 

 

 

 

Part of Roman baths cistern on display at Canterbury Roman Museum

Part of Roman bath cistern

This remarkable piece of Roman technology survives from the 'piscina' or open-air pool built in the 'plaestra', or exercise yard, of the Roman public baths in Canterbury.

 

 

 

Roman tombstone of a six year old girl

Roman tombstone of a six-year-old girl

The dedication on this marble tombstone to a six-year-old girl, Publia Valeria Maxima, reads 'May the earth lie lightly upon you'. The tombstone was set up to their 'devout daughter' by her parents, Oppia Valeria and Sextus Pomponius Capratinus. We know this from the Latin inscriptions. 

 

 

Tannery excavation © Canterbury Archaeological Trust

Recent finds by Canterbury Archaeological Trust

The Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) was formed in 1976 to carry out archaeological excavations in advance of redevelopment projects. Today, CAT’s principal role remains unchanged: to ensure that sites and buildings under threat from construction projects are investigated and recorded before work takes place. Evidence for the Roman city continues to be found in Canterbury and a selection of recent finds is exhibited in a case at Canterbury Roman Museum.

Follow the Museums on:

Opening Times 

Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

 
 

Admission

Adults £8.00

Discounts £6.00

Children free to a maximum of two children per paying adult

Group tickets available

Joint ticket for Heritage Museum and Roman Museum (Wednesdays to Sundays until 28 September 2014)
Adults £10.00
Discounts £8.00

Admission free to MyTownMyCity users, except for some special events.

 
 

How to find us

Canterbury Roman Museum
Butchery Lane, CT1 2JR

The impressive pillared entrance is in Butchery Lane and very close to the cathedral. Access to the Roman level via lift, then level access throughout museum.

Phone: 01227 785575
Email: museums@canterbury.gov.uk

 
 

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