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THE JEWRY WALL

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The above ground and buried remains of a Roman bath house and palaestra (exercise hall) constructed circa AD 154-60 in the northern half of Insula XXI of the Roman town, Ratae Coritanorum. The visible remains of the bath house are represented by a mixture of consolidated surviving masonry, reconstruction and the delineation of robber trenches by modern kerbs. In the post-Roman period the buildings were partially demolished and an Anglo-Saxon church was built on the site of the palaestra. In the 18th and 19th centuries the only standing piece of Roman masonry surviving above ground was a fragment of the west wall of the palaestra, against which a succession of domestic and industrial buildings were erected. In 1920 this fragment, known as the Jewry Wall, was taken into state care and in 1936 the site of the bath house was cleared of modern buildings. Archaeological excavations between 1936-9 uncovered the remains of the bath house. The excavated remains lie on the east side of the Jewry Wall museum and take the form of a series of stone foundations, partially restored and consolidated for public presentation. They include the remains of three large rectangular halls representing caldaria (hot baths). Attached to the east are the remains of three smaller rectangular rooms representing tepidaria (warm baths) and including the remains of a hypocaust. The bath house is joined to the palaestra on the east by two blocks of rooms. Between the two blocks is an open rectangular area, believed to have been the frigidarium. The remains of the west wall of the palaestra, known as the Jewry Wall, is constructed of coursed stone and brick and survives to a height of over 9 metres. In its entirety the palaestra was a rectangular building over 50 metres x 25 metres with a colonnade on two sides. The remains of the greater part of the building now lie beneath the present church of St Nicholas. The Jewry Wall is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.