Lego model of old Roman hotel on display at Godmanchester museum
- Credit: Archant
An intricate Lego model of the Roman mansio in Godmanchester is on display at the town’s Porch Museum.
The historic hotel was built for army officers, diplomats and their families travelling from London or Colchester to Hadrian's Wall. It is the latest historic building in Huntingdonshire to be made from Lego by chairman of the Huntingdonshire History Festival and Lego enthusiast, Mike Addis.
Other Lego projects include a model of Huntingdon's George Hotel, the prisoner's barracks at Norman Cross, a Cromwellian house and an A14 timeline for Huntingdon library which will be showcased during the Huntingdonshire History Festival in July.
Mr Addis built the mansio with careful reference to excavation drawings written descriptions of life at the mansio.
A mansio was an official stopping point on a Roman road that was maintained by the government of the day for use by officials.
Mr Addis has created wide front gates into the stable yard and bollards have been placed around the internal walls, which were used to prevent horses backing the carriages into the pale painted walls, the recorded notes show.
The hotel also has some Roman soldiers who have popped in for a chicken dinner, an oyster or two and glass of wine.
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Mr Addis has opened up the model's roof so that visitors can see the comfortable painted bedrooms, dining room and elegant tiled staircases. Outside at the back of the kitchen there are multi-lavatories in a line.
An excavation of the site in 1969 showed the mansio complex was a considerable size, more than 300ft - the largest in the country. A large number of guests using the facility could have included traders with mule trains headed towards Godmanchester and northern markets and eventually Hadrian's wall with wine, olive oil, spices, jewellery and other precious goods.
Many fancy goods were brought to the town and some, including a gold necklace, were discovered during the excavation.
The model will be available for public viewing on Porch Museum open days on July 6, August 25/26 and September 15, from 2pm-5pm. Free entry.