The Romans conquered Britain under the Emperor Claudius in AD43, and southern England quickly became an important part of the Roman Empire.
A large country house or villa was soon built overlooking East Wear Bay, with mosaics, painted walls, a bath house and underfloor heating.
This site was excavated in 1924 by Samuel Winbolt, a schoolteacher fascinated by archaeology, who heard about Roman pottery and a drain sticking out of the cliff, when he visited Folkestone on holiday.
Winbolt’s dig, in which his daughter Rosalind played an important role, revealed an impressive building with over 50 rooms.
More discoveries were made at Folkestone Roman Villa in the 1980s and most recently as part of the A Town Unearthed project between 2010 and 2013.
Explore some of the key archaeological finds to discover what it was like to live and work at the villa, as one of the wealthy owners, a farm labourer or slave.
See an artist’s reconstruction view of what the villa looked like. Investigate its mosaics, painted wall plaster, underfloor heating and bath house.
Discover who or what left their footprints in damp tiles, what a strigil was used for, and why ALPINIANI was scratched in graffiti on a bowl.
Investigate scenes of gladiators and a Roman deer hunt on Samian ware pottery, and learn about other luxury imports, including Mediterranean wine and olive oil.
Engage with drawings and paintings of Roman buildings, including at Pompeii, and a fabulous Panorama of Rome (Including the Colosseum, Forum and Arch of Constantine, brought back as souvenirs of his Continental travels by Thomas Man Bridge in the 1830s.
Plus a sneak preview into Folkestone’s fabulous collection of Roman coins and medals.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen… it’s time to explore!