The Roman Painted House in Dover was built in AD 200 and is considered one of the best preserved of its kind after 40 years of excavation across ancient Dover. It was part of a large mansion or official hotel for travellers crossing the Channel and it stood outside the great naval fort of the Classis Britannica, but in AD 270 it was demolished by the Roman army during the construction of a larger fort. The long-lost Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort was found by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit in the 1970s and lies buried under modern Dover and a large section of its west wall, together with a major bastion, survive inside the Roman House cover building.
The burial by the Roman Army resulted in the unique survival of over 400 square feet of painted plaster, the most extensive ever found north of the Alps. Above a lower dado, of red or green, an architectural scheme of many coloured panels framed by fluted columns can be seen.  The columns sit on projecting bases above a stage, producing a clear 3-D effect. Parts of 28 panels survive, each with a motif relating to Bacchus, the Roman God of wine.

Opening Hours
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Dover Priory.

Advisory Notes
The museum is run by volunteers, it is recommended you call to ensure the venue is open prior to visiting.

Picture Credit: © Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit.

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