Fishbourne Palace

The Fishbourne Palace, located outside of Chichester, is the largest known Roman domestic complex in Britain. The palace contained many rooms and buildings, like a living area, bathhouse, and a large reception area. In total, the palace had over 100 rooms, most covered with the palace’s famous mosaics. In the 280s, a fire destroyed the Fishbourne Palace. Then, stone robbing, the weather, and agricultural activity further damaged what remained of the site. In 1960, the Fishbourne Palace was rediscovered after Aubury Barratt, an engineer for the Portsmouth Water Company, ran into an ancient wall while digging a new water main trench. The first archaeological, which occurred in 1961, discovered 22 rooms and eight mosaics. However, it quickly became clear that the discovery was part of a larger complex. Subsequent excavations uncovered more rooms and more mosaics. In 1962, arachnologist Ivan D. Margary purchased the land Fishbourne Palace sat on. To perse the site, Margary then donated it to the Sussex Archaeological Society, the organization that still manages the site today.