History of Canterbury Roman Museum
Canterbury Roman Museum is built around the remains of a Roman town house with mosaics and under-floor heating. It was discovered by archaeologists excavating under cellars of shops in the former Longmarket, destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. The Roman town had become covered by rubble and soil: people used to build on the rubble of previous houses or shops, and on the rubbish dumped in yards and gardens. Materials from extensive cellars added to this build-up in Canterbury. The process gradually raised the level of the town. Walking around modern Canterbury few people realise that remains of a flourishing Roman town lie beneath their feet.
The Roman town house mosaic and under-floor heating system were given a roof for protection from the weather. Known as the 'Roman Pavement' the remains were open to the public for over forty years. When a new shopping precinct was planned for the Longmarket area in Canterbury, a museum was incorporated to display the Roman town-house remains along with other finds from Roman Canterbury. The new museum opened in 1994.
Displays have been refreshed recently and new graphic interpretation added, including a timeline along the stairs descending from modern times to Roman. A display of recent finds by Canterbury Archaeological Trust is a new highlight and will be changed regularly.