Wednesday 7 August 2013
Time of first pick-up: 8.30am
Cost: £28 per person (£15 for English Heritage members)
This outing is to one of the most outstanding Roman Villa survivals in Britain and is set in the attractive surroundings of the Darent Valley in Kent. The villa was begun about AD100 and reached its peak of luxury in the mid 4th century. The site has recently been vividly re-displayed and provides a unique opportunity to trace Roman domestic life over three centuries. The villa was developed by wealthy owners with additions including a heated bath-suite and an underground Pagan cult room with a rare wall painting of three water nymphs. A big new dining room was also added with some spectacular mosaics.
All this is interpreted in galleries overlooking the fully excavated remains and they display the recently returned collection of Roman artefacts, many of which have never been seen before. There is a specially commissioned film and light show to bring the villa to life.
From the villa we stop for lunch or picnic in a nearby country park café, before going on to Down House, home of Charles Darwin. The ground floor rooms have been recreated as they were when Darwin lived there with his family. A video guide is one of the many exciting interactive developments introduced in 2009 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. Besides the house there are beautiful grounds and gardens to explore.
We leave for home at about 5pm.
Please note: English Heritage members remember to bring your membership cards with you!
Further information is available from:
Mr & Mrs Openshaw, 16 Winston Drive, Bexhill, Sussex TN39 3RP, telephone number 01424 846369.