Sunday, July 06, 2014

What did they ever do for us?

To quote from some comedy sketch of recent years...

There was an 'event' at the Roman Villa at Bignor, just a few miles from home.

The Gorse Fox had visited before, on one of his walks, but the Silver Vixen had not seen it. As it was only 15 minutes away and the overnight rain had cleared, it seemed like a good opportunity.

Bignor, nestling under the north face of the South Down, just west of Stand Street, was discovered in 1811. A local farmer's plough caught against what he thought was a rock. It turned out to be part of an extensive Roman Villa.
The Villa was extensive, with some 70 rooms surrounding a central courtyard. In the northern range lies one of many surviving mosaics. This particular mosaic is some 24m long (out of 70m in all) and is the longest mosaic on show in the country.

In addition to the mosaics, they also had an exposed hypocaust - which was beautifully explained, and there was a museum displaying and explaining many of the finds that had been made on site.

As part of the "event" they had people dressed in Roman garb, wandering around. Soldiers, gladiators, servants, and the lady of the house. It was all done rather well, with each of the "Romans" able to tell you about their clothes, their role, and the general background.

A number of shows were being put on throughout the day. When we arrived there a gladiators practise session being staged in the arena.
The practise was great fun and the tableau explained the training, the different types of armour, and the different weapons.

They also staged several fights.

All in all it was great fun, good value, and local. Can't get much better than that

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