Fishbourne Palace c. 75 CE


Map Code: Ax02103

The Fishbourne Palace, on the outskirts of Novio Magus Reginorum (Chichester), was constructed within 50 years of the Roman conquest of Britain (43 CE). Its site was a military base during the initial invasion, and it is a mark of the efficiency with which the Pax Romana was imposed that such an opulent, essentially unprotected residence could be built. The largest Roman residence known of north of the Alps, its ownership is unclear: it may have been the residence of the Roman governor or of a powerful local client-king. Or both: Sallustius Lucullus, one likely candidate, was the grandson of Cunobelinus, king of the Catuvellauni before the Roman invasion. Guests would pass round a fountain-decked pool into a massive entrance hall opening onto an equally immense enclosed courtyard, set with formal gardens. Surrounding the court was a veranda opening onto array of living quarters and guest-rooms, adorned with frescoes and mosaics.

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