Archaeological structure identified as a Roman bathhouse was discovered under a garden of a private residence in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England.
Archaeologists believe that the structure is part of the town’s second century fort, known as Concangis. It was manned by the legionnaires recruited from Gaul tribes. The remains were pinpointed using 19th century records and discovered under the back gardens of houses in an undisclosed residential street. Excavations proved the walls were the changing rooms of the legionnaires’ bathhouse and they followed the line into the next-door garden, where the doorway and drainage from the baths’ cold room was unearthed, followed in the next neighbour’s garden by the hot room, complete with its distinctive underfloor heating.
Experts date the remains to around 150 AD, under the reign of Emperor Hadrian, when the fort was built to guard Cade’s Road, which followed the line of present-day Front Street. Several buildings were built outside the rectangular fort, including the single-storey bathhouse which was considered a fire risk and the large parade ground, along with civilian buildings and trading posts straddling the road. Few artefacts were found during the dig, but one, a stamp tile revealed, for the first time, the name of the unit which garrisoned the fort, The Fifth Cohort of Gauls, raised among the conquered tribes of modern-day France.
(after The Northern Echo)