English Heritage unveil TV's Rome Wasn't Built in a Day Roman Town House in Wroxeter

By Richard Moss | 16 February 2011
  • News
  • Archived article
a photo of a Roman Villa with portico tiled entrance, yellowed walls and tiled roof
© English Heritage
After months of blood, sweat, tears and much swearing documented blow-by-blow on the channel 4 TV programme Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, Wroxeter’s Roman Town House is finally ready to be unveiled to the public.

Six months in the making, the house dubbed "the newest Roman house in the world" will be open for visitors from February 19.

The town house was constructed using traditional building techniques to recreate the look, feel and attributes of a typical Roman property from Wroxeter’s Roman heyday in the 2nd century AD.

For English Heritage, who oversaw the project, the opportunity to construct a Roman building using authentic tools, methods and materials right next to the ruins of a real second century home - and amidst the remains of Wroxeter Roman City - was too hard to resist.

“Unlike so many recreations that you can see in museums around the country, this is not made of modern materials such as fibreglass to recreate the appearance of a Roman property, but exactly the same materials and techniques that would have been used by the Romans,” says Mark Badger, English Heritage West Midlands visitor operations manager.

“This makes it a living property which requires on-going maintenance, just like the properties occupied by Wroxeter’s Roman settlers.”

Visitors to the new des-res will find all of the Roman mod cons; a heated bathroom courtesy of the latest in Roman hypocausts, reception room with frescoes and exquisite mosaic floor and bathing room with cold and warm plunge pools.

They will also encounter the cramped slave quarters and the distinctly Mediterranean features of the covered interconnecting corridor, central garden and shop space open to the public.

And in case anyone missed the TV programme, one of the rooms has been left partially finished to illustrate the building materials used in the construction.

English Heritage will be celebrating their newest attraction on the weekends of February 19-20 and 26-27, when Roman re-enactor Marcus Iulius Britanicus will be showing off his luxury villa to mark the public opening.  
  • The Roman Town House opens on Saturday February 19 at 10am.  Visits to the property are included in the admission price for Wroxeter Roman City, which is £4.40 for adults, £3.70 for concessions and £2.20 for children or £11 for a family ticket.
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: