Monday, July 02, 2012

The Jewry Wall, Leicester

Writing about St Nicholas, Leicester. I said that the church stood next to Leicester's most substantial Roman remains, the Jewry Wall.

Wikipedia says the wall is :
an impressive example of standing Roman walling, is nearly 2000 years old. It measures 23 metres (75 ft) long, 8 metres (26 ft) high and 2.5 metres (8 ft) thick. It is the second largest piece of surviving civil Roman building in Britain (the largest being the "great work" at Wroxeter). 
The structure comprises alternate bands of Roman brick and coursed masonry. In the centre of the wall are two large arched openings about 3 metres (10 ft) wide and 4 metres (13 ft) high; there are further arched alcoves on the eastern side. ... 
The remains of the town's public baths, lying immediately west of the wall, were excavated in four seasons from 1936 to 1939 by Dame Kathleen Kenyon and date from approximately 160 AD. The wall and some of the foundations of the baths are now laid out to public view.
I gather that later excavations have suggested that the baths were only the last of several Roman uses of this site. Today you can wander over the remains of the baths unchecked - an unexpected pleasure in a part of Leicester badly affected by demolition and road schemes.

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