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Explore a Roman street at new gallery for Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

RUGBY Art Gallery and Museum’s new Archaeology Gallery opens this Saturday (15 October).

•	The new Archaeology Gallery allows visitors to explore a Roman street and discover Tripontium for themselves.
• The new Archaeology Gallery allows visitors to explore a Roman street and discover Tripontium for themselves. Published Tuesday, 11th October 2016

The second floor gallery showcases archaeology dug up in and around Rugby, including excavations from the Roman town of Tripontium and the private collection of the Rugby antiquarian Matthew Bloxam. 

The gallery's respected Tripontium gallery closed earlier this year to allow the installation of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, but has now been reinterpreted and redisplayed in a market street format.

Visitors will be able to explore market stalls on a street in Tripontium and find out about the people who lived there through finds including jewellery, coins, pottery and ironwork. 

Highlights in the new gallery also include a model of the Tripontium bathhouse, a bronze peacock belt buckle dating from the fourth century, a silver coin found in the foundations of a house dating from 109 BC, and a silver proto hand pin used to pin a toga, dating from the fourth century. An unusual find was the Cave’s Inn milestone, dating from the third century, which was excavated from a bottom of a well at Tripontium.

Tripontium, or "the place of three bridges", was a Roman town situated four miles north-east of Rugby, on the Roman road of Watling Street. Initially a military post but later a civilian town, Tripontium was inhabited for nearly 400 years before being abandoned in the late 4th century. The town was then lost to history before being rediscovered by local historian and antiquarian Matthew Bloxam in 1836.

It wasn't until the 1960s that a full excavation of the site began when Rugby Archaeological Society took up the challenge. Excavations were continued over a forty year period revealing a remarkable collection many of which can be seen on display in the new gallery.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The new Archaeology Gallery tells Rugby's Roman history in a fresh and exciting way, giving visitors a real flavour of what life was like for Rugbeians of the third and fourth centuries.

"I would encourage all residents to visit this gallery and rediscover their local history. I am sure that everyone who visits will learn something new and will be inspired to find out more."

The Archaeology Gallery opens to the public at 11:30am on Saturday 15 October. It will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and is free to enter. More information is available at www.ragm.co.uk.

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