Emperor Septimius Severus’ Potential Bath House Found in Cumbria’s Cricket Club

Unveiling Roman Hub in Carlisle

Archaeologists have unearthed a significant discovery in Carlisle, suggesting that the center of the Roman Empire might have temporarily shifted to this northwest British city.

A 160-foot bath house discovered at a cricket club, potentially linked to Emperor Septimius Severus, has sparked immense intrigue among experts after six years of excavation.

Traces of Emperor Septimius Severus

The discovery of 34 tiles bearing the Imperial court’s three letters, IMP, hints at a possible connection to Emperor Septimius Severus, who reigned between 193 to 211 AD.

Severus, known for his conquest of “barbaric tribes,” spent his final years in York after resistance against Roman occupation beyond Hadrian’s Wall.

Indications of Royal Influence

Evidence supporting Severus’ association with the bath house includes two large stone heads, typically reserved for depicting an Emperor and spouse or gods.

Additionally, the finding of purple pigment, exclusive to imperial robes, further bolsters the speculation of Severus’ involvement in the structure.

Roman Emperor’s Probable Presence

Historical texts indicate Severus’s presence in Carlisle before his demise, consolidating the belief that the bath house might have been constructed for his personal use.

The discovery, unveiled in an episode of ‘Digging for Britain,’ underscores a momentous connection between archaeology and historical context.

Carlisle’s Role in Roman Empire

The revelation challenges the assumption that Septimius launched his campaign to expand Britain from the eastern side of Hadrian’s Wall.

Instead, the evidence suggests his base might have been situated much further west, in Carlisle, redefining the region’s significance in Roman history.

Intriguing Architectural and Artistic Details

The bath house’s architectural style, including terracotta tubes likely of North African origin, along with monumental sculpted heads, points towards a possible imperial connection.

These findings, including inscriptions possibly referring to Severus’ wife, contribute to the bath house’s regal allure.

Significance of the Uncovered Site

Frances McIntosh of English Heritage highlights the high-status items found, emphasizing the significance of the bath house’s potential link to Emperor Severus.

The discoveries accentuate Britain’s importance in Roman history, particularly Severus’ presence and eventual death in the region.

Roman Empire’s Brief Northern Hub

The revelations from the recent excavation led by Frank Giecco suggest that the northern region of England briefly served as the Roman Empire’s center during the early 3rd century.

The site, adorned with classical sculptures and heated baths, offers a glimpse into Rome’s influence and sophistication in the area.