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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 79    1964  pages 124

Excavations at Eccles, 1963: Second Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

been examined, but it must clearly contain at least one room giving access to the laconicum through the doorway in its wall.
   Room 30 is at present partly inferred and occupies an area, approximately 30 by 19 ft., containing Room 31. It is very likely that Room 30 was the frigidarium of the bath building, giving direct access to the laconicum, and Room 31 the cold plunge-bath of the frigidarium. Part at least of Room 30 was floored with a mosaic, a few square inches of which were found in situ at the north corner of the room; this mosaic was laid on an opus signinum bedding, some 4 in. thick, built on a foundation of tightly packed yellow mortar and gravel, which was found badly damaged by the later construction of the second period drain. No trace was found, within the excavated area, of a south-west wall continuing the alignment of the south-west wall of Room 31; but this is not necessary, if it can be accepted that the whole area was one room.
   Room 31 is a small cold plunge-bath, 13 by 7 ft., with walls of ragstone set in the usual bright yellow mortar; these were found robbed down to their lowest foundation courses. The south-west wall of this room was only 1 ft. 6 in. wide; the other three walls were of the standard 2-ft. thickness of the rest of the bath building. This room was floored with a mosaic, in the well-known manner of other cold plunge-baths, laid over an opus signinum bedding, 1 ft. in thickness, itself laid on a mortared ragstone foundation resting directly upon the subsoil (Section K-L). The mosaic was almost completely destroyed—or perhaps its tesserae had been methodically removed for re-use elsewhere—except in one or two places at the junctions of floor and walls where a few square inches of tesserae still remained in situ. Nothing can, of course, be said about the pattern of this mosaic, except that it probably had a white border.11
  
Water from this plunge-bath was disposed of by a drain built at its west corner, which was later re-used in Period II (Plate IV). It was built with ragstone walls, of which the northern was 1 ft. and the southern 1 ft. 6 in. thick; these walls were set in bright yellow mortar within a construction trench cut through the subsoil. The bottom of the drain consisted of tiles, but both bottom and sides were covered internally with a coating of opus signinum forming a very effective seal. The channel of the drain was found to be virtually clean without any accumulation of silt.
   The area between the south-east wall of Room 31 and the north-east wall of Room 28 was found completely unoccupied and filled with much debris resting upon the undisturbed subsoil (Section K-L). There was no trace of any kind of floor, nor any evidence for anything structural up to the south-east wall of the bath building which, though
  
11 Cf, the Fishbourne mosaics of same date, in Antiq. Journ*, xliv (1964), 1-8.

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