Roman Town House
The Roman Town House in Dorchester is the only example of a fully exposed Roman Town House in the country.
The grounds are free to visit and tours of the internal structure are offered by us for a small fee.
Visitors will learn about the excavation and conservation of the Roman Town House as well as life in the Town House during the Roman period. Visitors will have an opportunity to explore the South Range and will be given a tour of the West Range inside where they will see mosaics in situ.
Guided tours for school parties can be arranged with us. Take part in a guided visit, dress up and handle real Roman objects in this unique setting. Just an 8-minute walk from Dorset Museum.
Maximum number of pupils: 1 class ‘bubble’
Cost: £40 All materials included
For booking your visit and lunch space or an unguided visit.
Call: 01305 262735
The Roman Town House sits in the grounds of County Hall in Dorchester. The area is known as Colliton Park because from the 17th century it formed the grounds of Colliton House. Colliton Park lies in the northwest corner of the Roman town known as Durnovaria.
In the 1930s Dorset County Council bought Colliton Park to build a new County Hall. In an early example of rescue archaeology, a team from the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society excavated in advance of development. They found the remains of at least 8 buildings dating from the Roman period, of which the building that became known as the Roman Town House was the best example.
Dorset County Council decided to keep the Roman Town House on permanent display. In the 1990s a cover building, designed in the style of the Roman original, was constructed over one range of the house, and further improvements were made about 10 years later.
Dorset County Council ceased to exist at Local Government Reorganisation in April 2019. The Roman Town House site is now owned by Dorset Council and has completed a new project to improve the setting and interpretation of the Roman Town House.