If you've been enjoying Channel 4's recent series 'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day', you'll be excited to hear that you will soon be able to visit the Roman town house constructed on the programme. The newly-built 'Villa Urbana' at Wroxeter Roman City in Shropshire is undergoing final preparations ahead of its opening to the public on Saturday 19 February.
Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
The programme follows six modern builders as they construct a Roman town house using only tools and equipment that would have been available in Roman times.
They have been aided in their quest by a manual on Roman building written by engineer Vitruvius 2000 years ago, and supervised by Professor Dai Morgan Evans, the project’s planner. The builders have had just six months to master the skills and complete the town house. Find out more about ‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’ here.
As the materials and techniques used to construct the building were as close as possible to those used in Roman times, this has inevitably caused some challenges in ensuring the villa can open as a visitor attraction. For example, as the opening date gets ever nearer, we’ve been busy making some repairs where the recent extreme weather has taken its toll on the villa.
“As with any property, you would expect to have to conduct some maintenance after extreme weather – but it does give us an insight into how the traditional Roman building techniques would have responded to the damper British climes, which is an important part of this exploration project,” says Mark Badger, Head of Visitor Operations.
Plan Your Visit
When the Roman Town House opens to the public, visitors will be able to view the rooms in their bare, undressed state which provides a fascinating insight into the construction techniques used. The walls of one room have been left in a variety of stages of completion, so that visitors can see what lies beneath the rendering and fresco finishes.
Wroxeter Roman City is open Wednesdays to Sundays throughout February 2011, and daily throughout March, and the Town House opens on 19 February. Plan your visit to Wroxeter here.
Inspired by all Things Roman?
If you've caught the Roman bug but can't get to Shropshire to see the town house, why not plan a trip to one of our other Roman sites? In the North there's an array of fascinating ruins to explore along Hadrian's Wall, and down in Kent there's Lullingstone Roman Villa, with its spectacular mosaics and rare wall paintings.