Having designed the house based on the kind of buildings that archaeologists believe would have stood in Virconium – the Roman name for Wroxeter – Professor Evans then worked with a team of modern day builders to construct the property using only techniques and equipment that would have been available to fifth century labourers. The whole process was filmed by Channel 4 to create its six part series, Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, which has since gone on to international success on TV stations around the globe.
“We got a little taste of the thought process involved in designing this property during the TV series, but these tours provide the chance to quiz the man behind the project about anything from the use of materials to the traditional techniques employed, and also find out how valuable this project has been to our understanding of Roman construction skills,” comments site manager, Mary Wycherley. “Many visitors remember fondly Dai’s insistence on no wheelbarrows being used on the site during the construction process, but this really was the tip of the iceberg for one of this country’s most highly-regarded Roman historians.”
Since Professor Morgan’s last visit, English Heritage has incorporated furniture into the Triclinium (main reception room), shop and bedroom of the Roman Town House to give visitors an idea of what life might have been like for its wealthy merchant inhabitants.
Tours take place at 11.00am and 2.00pm, with each tour taking approximately two hours. Participants are advised to wear warm clothing, as the Town House does not have any heating. Tickets cost £30.00 per person, or £25.00 for English Heritage members. Pre-booking is essential, with tickets available by calling the English Heritage Customer Services Team on 0870 333 1183.
Professor Dai Morgan Evans will also be leading tours at Wroxeter Roman City on 7 February, 7 and 21 March 2012.
Wroxeter Roman City and the Town House are located five miles East of Shrewsbury on the B4380, and remain open every weekend (10.00am to 4.00pm) throughout the winter months.
For more details, please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/wroxeter or call 01743 761330.
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