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A new museum's opening in Chichester today (Sunday 8th July).
Located on Tower Street in the centre of Chichester, The Novium has been purpose built to show the remains of a Roman bath house, which are now uncovered for visitors to see for the first time. Previously, they lay preserved under a car park. But the Roman baths are just one of many wow features you will see.
The building has been designed by the award winning Keith Williams Architects, whose projects include the Wexford Opera House in Ireland and The Unicorn Theatre in London. The moment you walk through the glass doors you will be amazed at the space and views provided by the building.
The remains of the Roman baths fill much of the ground floor gallery, with an audio visual fi lm showing you how they were built and used in Roman times. The bath house would have been used as a meeting place, to engage in leisure activities and perhaps also to talk business.
It would have been an active and noisy place, full of chatter and gossip, where games might be played, books read and beauty treatments enjoyed.
Many of its visitors would have hired slaves to look after their belongings, and even at that time there were complaints about noise, as one Roman letter tells us. There are also glass cases around the baths containing objects that were found at the site.
The Novium contains about 150,000 artefacts, both on display and in its store, including some old postcards donated by Robbie Williams when he lived in the district.
Myles Cullen, Deputy Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Economy, Property and Tourism, says: "The Novium has already established itself as an iconic building in Chichester and we can't wait to welcome people through its doors.
"This is both an exciting time in the museum's history and for the council, as this is one of the biggest projects this council has ever undertaken.
"The museum offers something for everyone and brings together the district's rich history under one roof. It also signposts the many wonderful historic sites we have in our district."