You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  

ROMAN FORTRESS BATHS CHESTER

DESCRIPTION + /

A Roman bath house, completed in 79 AD, remodelled 225-250 AD, with further phases of alterations in the early 4th century and c370 AD. The Roman Legionary fortress baths at Chester were situated in the area which is now Bridge Street.

The exact plan of the complex is not totally clear, because excavation has been necessarily piecemeal and areas are covered by more modern buildings. The positioning of the baths complex within the Roman fortress of Deva would have been on one of the main streets; the Via Praetoria, close to the south gate. It was placed in the first building strip or "scamnum" of this block, which is unusual for Roman planning - the usual Roman procedure would be to place it in the second strip. Constructed of Roman concrete rubble with local stone facings, it measured 86m east-west and 83 metres north-south. It featured the standard elements of a Roman bath-house, with a large heated hall, probably with an indoor pool, a dry heated area like a Scandinavian Sauna, an open-air exercise yard, and a progression of cold to hot baths running north-south in a row-type arrangement.
Changes to the initial form of the baths created by 79 AD included the addition of a new heated room and furnaces between 225 and 250 AD; rebuilding of the hypocausts and remodelling of the caldarium (hot baths) in the early 4th century and finally further remodelling of the caldarium and plunge baths circa 370 AD.

It has been conjectured that after the end of Roman rule, although no longer functioning as a bath house, large portions of the shell of the building would have been standing well into the Early Medieval period, possibly used for storage or domestic use. From about 1100 onwards the building was demolished and robbed for its stone to be used in new buildings; it is thought that by about 1500 nothing visible remained above ground. Some of the Roman masonry is visible in the cellar of number 39 Bridge Street.

DETAIL + / -
MORE INFORMATION & SOURCES
+ / -
RELATED MONUMENTS + / -
MONUMENT TYPES + / -
COMMENTS + / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

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