Site of Roman Bath House on Grimstock Hill

Description of this historic site

The site of a Roman bath house situated 500m north east of Gilson Hall.

Notes about this historic site

1 A bathhouse discovered during building work in 1978. The site was badly damaged by earth removal. It consisted of three elements – the hypocaust building, the semicircular room and post holes. The hypocaust building had at least two phases. The walls were stone built and two rooms are represented. Both rooms contained pilae. The praefurnium was probably at the end of the building under the contractor’s dump. The destruction layer contained much broken tile and some stone. One pot sherd was recovered from this layer. The semicircular room must have been attached, but its relationship had been destroyed. It had a stone floor and appears to have been intended to hold water. Two post holes were also found. There may have been further buildings to the N. Finds included one flint blade (PRN 5129).
2 In 1980 a third N room was excavated. All that survived were the sandstone foundations of the wall. The E part of the bathhouse was not excavated and lies beneath the earthen sound barrier which separates industrial from housing development. It must be one of the least impressive in Roman Britain. It may have had a religious function as part of the temple complex.
3 Plan.
4 Full report on excavations carried out between 1978 and 1980. The bath house (site M) may have been built at the time of the first stone temple. This bath house is of a ‘private’ type. It has only one heated room when the two southern rooms have been knocked together; this southern room is perhaps best regarded as a combined tepidarium.caldarium. A connection with the temple is suggested; its location on the edge of the temenos area suggests that purificatory bathing may have been introduced as part of the ritual.Excavation at Grimstock Hill, certainly failed to evidence a settlement that the bath house could serve.

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