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Archaeologia Cantiana -
Vol. 79 1964
at Eccles, 1963: Second Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot
time when it would seem clear that some of the
rooms were reconstructed (Plate II). 7
Bonner Jahrbucher 81, 212.
The construction of this secondary furnace
necessitated breaching the wall of the laconicum. The new
flue had cheeks 1 ft. thick, built entirely of bonding-tiles set
in a bright yellow mortar, which appeared a little darker than its
original colour due to burning; both cheeks were very reddened by
fire and in a very brittle condition. The floor of the flue was
constructed of roofing-tiles, which were laid directly on the
subsoil outside the laconicum and projected slightly on to
the room's floor; these roofing-tiles were covered with a thick
deposit of soot and ash, in which were found pieces of charcoal
and mineral coal, with much pottery and domestic refuse extending
on to the floor of the laconicum beyond the mouth of the
flue. The external walls of the stokehole were 2 ft. thick, of
ragstone set in bright yellow mortar; the south-west wall of the
furnace was built directly against the north-east wall of the bath
building. The space between the south-west external wall and the
south-west cheek of the flue contained much accumulated soot and
ash as well as much domestic refuse.
Circular baths such as Room 32 are normally a feature
of military establishments,3 whose laconica have
independent furnaces and are entered directly from their frigidaria;
these are usually dated from the Flavian period to the middle
of the second century A.D. Town baths, too were equipped
with circular laconica or sudatoria,4 but
there seem to be very few parallels for such circular baths in
Grenier,5 in discussing the Rouhling
villa,6 refers also to the villas at Friesdorf,7
Wiltingen8 and Bubenheim;9 the Rouhling laconicum
does not project beyond the line of the bath building, but is
incorporated within it. The only close parallel to Room 32 in a
British villa would seem to be at the Ashtead villa,10
which had a circular laconicum offset at one end of the
bath block, but of smaller diameter (10 ft.) than Room 32.
The area immediately to the south-west of Room 32 has
3 For a general discussion,
see M. C. Fair, Circular Bath Buildings in Connection with
Cohort Forts, in J.R.S., xvii (1927), 220 ff., with
fifteen British and German military parallels; also, C. M.
Daniels, The Roman Bath House at Red House, Beaufort, near
Corbridge, in AA4, xxxvii (1959), 85-176.
4 E.g. the Roman baths at Bath, Archaeologia,
lxxv (1926), 1-18, and at Wroxeter, D. Atkinson, Report on
Excavations at Wroxeter, 1923-1927.
5 A. Grenier, Habitations gauloises
et Villas latines dans la Cite des Mediomatrices, Paris,
1906.1 owe this reference to Professor Sir Ian Richmond, P.S.A.
6 Op tit., 129.
8 Jahresbericht des Qesellschaft fur
nutzliolie Forschungen, Trier, 1856, 61 ff.
9 Bonner Jahrbucher 72, 126.
10 A, W. G. Lowther, Excavations at
Ashtead, Surrey, Third Report (1929), in Surrey Arch.
Coll., xxxviii (pt. II), 132-48.1 owe the original reference
to Lt.-Col. G. W. Meates, F.S.A.
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