Lickfold Roman Bath House, Wiggonholt


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Location Description:
The Scheduled Monument is centred on NGR TQ 06478 17564, in a broad verge on the eastern side of the A283, sandwiched between the present road and a section of old road used as a lay-by.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
The Scheduled Monument is centred on NGR TQ 06478 17564, in a broad verge on the eastern side of the A283, sandwiched between the present road and a section of old road used as a lay-by.
West Sussex
Horsham (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TQ 06480 17562


The buried remains of a Romano-British bath house of C2 - C4 AD.

Reasons for Designation

The remains of the Romano-British bath house at Lickfold are scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Period and rarity: in view of their importance for the understanding of Romano-British settlement development and social practice, all surviving examples of bath houses are considered to be nationally significant; * Survival: although partially excavated, the bath house survives well as a series of buried features and archaeological deposits; * Potential: investigations have demonstrate that the site retains valuable archaeological evidence. Further parts of the site remain unexcavated and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to its history and use, as well as of the landscape in which it was constructed; * Group value: the bathhouse is associated with Roman remains revealed by excavation in the adjacent fields and is in close proximity to the course of the Roman road running from Codmore Hill to Marehill, enhancing its significance.


The bath house is likely to have been associated either with a Roman settlement which may have been a large, sprawling agricultural or industrial settlement of which the bath house formed only a part, or alternatively it could have been associated with a villa or even a mansio. The practice of communal bathing was an integral part of Roman life, and the bath house served an important function as a place for relaxation and social congregation as well as exercise and hygiene. Public bath houses were used by most inhabitants of Roman towns, including slaves, to the extent that private bathing facilities in town houses were rare; men and women bathed at separate times of the day, or in separate suites. Bath houses therefore varied in both size and plan, according to the local population and bathing arrangements, but all consisted of a series of rooms of graded temperature containing a variety of plunge-baths. The frigidarium (cold room) led, progressively, to one or more tephidaria (warm rooms) and caldaria (hot rooms). Bath houses could also include changing rooms, latrines, sauna and massage rooms, and were often linked to a palaestra or exercise area, which originated as an open courtyard but in Britain was later adapted to a covered hall. Bath houses were heated by hypocausts connected to nearby furnaces; it was also linked to, and depended upon, an engineered water supply which involved the construction of drains, sewers and an aqueduct.

As a necessity of Roman life, the public bath house was one of the first buildings to be constructed after the establishment of a town or settlement. Most bath houses, therefore, originated in the C1 or C2 AD and continued in use, with alterations, to the C5. They are distributed through the towns of Roman Britain, which were principally situated in what is now eastern, central and southern England and south Wales. In view of their importance for an understanding of Romano-British urban development and social practice, all surviving examples are considered to be worthy of protection.

The remains of the bath house, the rest of the building or complex presumably lying under the adjacent road, were designated as a Scheduled Monument in 1961. The site was partially excavated between 1930 and 1937 and in 1964.

THE BATH HOUSE IN ITS WIDER CONTEXT Archaeological investigations along the course of the re-aligned A283 and in the wider vicinity of the monument have uncovered remains of further extensive Roman settlement and some late Bronze Age material. The former includes pits, post-holes, ditches, kilns, a furnace with an ironstone base, a cremation urn, C1 to C4 AD coins, Roman pottery, roofing tile and brick.

In addition to a resistivity survey which indicated rubbish pits and a kiln to the west of the A283, earlier and more extensive evidence of Roman occupation of the area has been afforded by finds of: * C1-C4 AD coins, some Samian and Castor ware and fragments of Belgic pottery found in 1929 to the east of the A283 towards the bottom of the slope to the River Stor at TQ06571724; * Roman material, including Samian sherds and coins of Titus and Antoninus Pius discovered in 1928 on Hurston Warren on the east side of the Stor at TQ06821723; * considerable amounts of Roman pottery, C1-C4 coins, Roman roofing tile and brick and some fragments of Belgic pottery found in 1930 and 1937 in a field west of the A283 at TQ06381723; * a Roman lead cistern, possibly C4, found in 1943 during deepening of drainage ditches on the River Arun floodplain, 450m north-west of the bath house site, at TQ06061776; and * a rubbish pit of C1 Romano-British material revealed in the river bank at Wickford Bridge, through erosion, c 1962.

If these discoveries represent evidence of a settlement or industrial activity they may be part of the same Roman settlement that lay along the north-west to south-east Sussex Greensand Way Roman road, which crosses the adjacent western field heading towards Hardham Camp mansio, and also lay along the north-south Codmore Hill to Marehill Roman trackway.


The monument includes a Roman bathhouse surviving as partially excavated buried archaeological remains. This may have been part of a large, sprawling agricultural or industrial settlement, of which the bath house formed only a part, but alternatively the bath house could have been associated with a villa or even a mansio since it is close to a Roman road.

The bathhouse was constructed about AD 125, as a detached building containing a podyterium (changing room), a frigidarium with a shallow cold bath, and a caldarium including hypocausts and an adjoining furnace room. In about AD 175 repairs and alterations took place and a small hot bath was added. Further alterations were made in about AD 300 when two rooms of the bath house, one with a herringbone brick floor of c AD 125, were adapted as living rooms and a kitchen was added to the south. The building is thought to have been destroyed by fire shortly after AD 364. Industrial remains were also found on the site including evidence for pottery kilns and metalworking, but no direct evidence for the presence of a settlement was recovered.

Excavations within the site also revealed convincing soil mark indications of three further buildings in addition to the one excavated.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The scheduled area comprises a quadrangle of land on the eastern side of the A283, between the present road and a section of old road used as a lay-by. Centred on NGR TQ0647817564, and covering an area of approximately 100msq, the north-western corner is at TQ0647217581, the north-eastern corner 15.8m east-south-east at TQ0648817579, the south-eastern corner 35.2m to the south at TQ0648417544, and the south-western corner 12.7m to the west at TQ0647217545, 35.9m south of the north-western corner.

The monument excludes all road surfaces and telecommunications equipment and cabinets but the ground beneath these features is included.

Further extensive evidence of Roman occupation and activity has been found in the vicinity of the bath house, but as their exact nature and extent cannot be conclusively demonstrated, these remains are not currently protected by scheduling.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
WS 142
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Evans, K J, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Excavations on a Romano-British Site, Wiggonholt, 1964, , Vol. Volume 112, (1974), pp97-151
Winbolt, S E, Goodchild R G, , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in The Roman Villa at Lickfold, Wiggonholt, Second Report, , Vol. Volume 81, (1939), pp54-67
Winbolt, S E, Goodchild R G, , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in A Roman Villa at Lickfold, Wiggonholt, , Vol. Volume 78, (1936), pp13-36
Archaeology South East / Riccoboni P, An Archaeological Watching Brief at The Marehill Waste Treatment Waterworks, Pulborough, West Sussex, 2007,
Currie, CK, An Archaeological Watching Brief at Link Farm, Pulborough, West Sussex, 2000,
Wessex Archaeology, Lickfold Farm, Pulborough, West Sussex - Archaeological Evaluation, 1991,
Wessex Archaeology, Link Farm, Pulborough - Archaeological Field Evaluation, 1994,
Wessex Archaeology, Link Farm, Pulborough, West Sussex - Barn Construction 1996 - PR/3/96, 1996,
Wessex Archaeology, Link Farm, Pulborough, West Sussex, Archaeological Monitoring and Recording, 1995,


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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