Fishbourne Palace

Location: 2km West of Roman Chichester
Size/shape: the largest Roman dwelling north of the Alps.
Date: proto palace built AD 60’s, final structure of the palace 75-80 AD

When it was built Fishbourne Palace symbolised the beauty and elegance of the Roman Empire, which was expanding its power and control in Britain against rebellious forces such as Boudicca and her ‘army’. The sheer grandeur of Fishbourne Palace meant that it took around a decade to reach the impressive status that we reconstructed it as. Indeed, the Palace is comparable with Nero’s Golden Palace, it is the largest Roman residence North of the Alps.

Such a beautiful home, built in typical Roman style and filled with lots of expensive furnishings (as known due to the extensive discoveries of objects- 54 in total) meant that Fishbourne was owned by someone of wealth/power within Sussex.

The question of who owned and lived in Fishbourne Palace, as well as why it was built confounds archaeologists and historians alike, the most reasonable explanation is that it belonged to Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus/Togidubnus (further debate is over the spelling of his name) who was Client King of Sussex. This man essentially ran Sussex as a Roman Province for Emperor Claudius, who in return ensured Togidubnus a luxurious life of power.


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