Somerset

Red paint found at Roman Baths during excavations

Archaeologist's hand holding a brush against the remains of red paint on the outside Roman wall of the Great Bath Image copyright Bath and North East Somerset Council
Image caption Wall plaster with a red-painted finish has been found on an external wall

The building housing some of Britain's most famous Roman baths may have been painted red, archaeologists have said.

A dig at the site, in Bath, uncovered remnants of red paint on the outside wall - contradicting a widely-held assumption they were white in colour.

The discovery was made during a dig in an area of the world heritage site not currently open to the public.

Manager Stephen Clews said it would have helped the building to stand out to visitors.

"Our assumption was that it was white but it's turned out to be red," he said.

'More striking'

"On the site, we do have examples of both red and white paint on internal surfaces but not on external ones.

"One thing we tend to forget is that the ancient world was in colour.

"Probably the simplest and cheapest solutions was to paint buildings white. So painting it a bright red would have made it more striking visually."

The dig underneath York Street and Swallow Street is part of the Archway Centre project, which is due to open to the public in 2019.

Image copyright Bath and North East Somerset Council
Image caption The dig is taking place beneath York Street and Swallow Street
Image copyright PA
Image caption The work is part of the Archway Centre project, which is due to open to the public in 2019

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