Enjoy the drama of famous Roman Palace by twilight

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HISTORY lovers can step back in time to the drama of the third century at a night-time opening of a museum.

Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester, will welcome visitors as dusk falls on the remains of one of the largest and most luxurious homes in the Roman empire.

Costumed guides will tell the story of how it was burnt down in one catastrophic night almost two millennia ago.

Visitors can enjoy a cup of mulsum, a Roman spiced drink, listen to the story of that fateful evening and experience the palace by night by the flickering light of oil lamps.

The ruined rooms of the palace will be brought to life using genuine artefacts from the excavations.

Museum director Jaane Rowehl said: ‘This event is especially suitable for families, but will be a rare treat for anyone who wants to see the palace after-hours, as night falls.

‘It promises to be a unique and atmospheric evening.’

The palace is participating in the national Museums at Night event and doors will stay open outside its normal closing time of 5pm, using the early evening and twilight to reveal the story of one of the earliest villas in Roman Britain.

The palace was discovered in 1960, when a digger driver working in Fishbourne village uncovered a massive wall foundation.

It contains more than 20 mosaic floors – the largest collection in Britain –including the famous Cupid on a Dolphin.

The night event is on Saturday, May 19 from 7pm to 9pm. There will be limited spaces so pre-booking is essential either.

Book by calling 01243 785859 or emailing palacebookings@sussexpast.co.uk.