Monday, January 25, 2016

Visiting Durnovaria

A quick visit to Durnovaria (aka Casterbridge - modern Dorchester) by way of Sherborne. While the latter is well-heeled and full of mediaeval sandstone wonders, Dorchester has been painfully 'modernised'. Not to say that there aren't plenty of Roman relics scattered around the town.

The signposting is erratic. Trying to find the Roman Town House I was initially super-impressed by Google's ability to map a four minute walk from where we happened to be standing. Yet on arrival, the Town House was nowhere to be seen: it took a local to direct us to the entrance three hundred metres away.

The problem is that the Roman remains are off the road, just behind the Council Buildings. Google has the GPS for the ruins plus the street map; what it doesn't know is where the entrance is. It's a small but decisive failure at this release.

Just around the corner from our hotel was the ancient neolithic henge of Maumbury Rings, subsequently repurposed by the Romans. I tend to be underwhelmed by amphitheatres as they all look the same (pictured below); it's hard to imagine the ancient blood and gore. I anxiously await the first tourist release of Google Glass with augmented reality so I can enjoy the same authentic spectacle as a civis romanus in good standing.

We arrive (eventually) at the Roman Town House

Most of the rooms have mosaic flooring

Clare at the Roman Town House

The Amphitheatre (Maumbury Rings) at Dorchester

Sherborne Abbey
Trivia: Sherborne School, next to the Abbey, boasts as old boys Alan Turing, Jeremy Irons, Chris Martin and John le Carré.

The proximate reason for our visit was to view the Tutankhamun Exhibition, lavishly endowed with precision replicas of artefacts and mummies from the fabled tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Always good to see a God-King from an archaic state, but no photos allowed, I'm afraid.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Keep it polite and no gratuitous links to your business website - we're not a billboard here.