One of the most fascinating finds from the ancient city of Londinium is reopening to visitors.
Billingsgate Roman House and Baths were built around AD 150, and rediscovered by chance in the mid 19th century. In this ancient bathhouse, the City's inhabitants would have once gathered to acclimatise to the heat in the tepidarium before moving to the caldarium where they'd be massaged with perfumed oils. (All sounds lovely, although the tepidarium experience would sometimes involve some painful hair-plucking.)
The Roman House and Baths have been closed to the public for a while, but now tickets for guided tours have been announced, with slots from 2 April to 25 June currently on sale.
The Roman remains were uncovered in 1848, as construction workers dug the foundations for what would become the Coal Exchange on Lower Thames Street. At the time, the Illustrated London News hailed it "A discovery of the greatest interest to the London antiquary." Today, an office block sits atop the ancient ruins — another example of how the London of yesterday rubs shoulders with its modern counterpart.
In February 2022, two stunning Roman mosaics were revealed on a site near London Bridge, at what was once likely a posh inn on the outskirts of Londinium.
Billingsgate Roman House and Baths guided tours, £11.37/£9.21