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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 May, 2004, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Roman remains could be reburied
Roman bath
The Roman bath is covered by an old iron roof
One of the greatest archaeological treasures in Sussex - the remains of a Roman bath - may have to be buried unless funds are raised to save it.

The Roman bath is on private land at Beauport Park, East Sussex, and was discovered by the headmaster of a private school in Hastings.

Now finds from the bath house site are stored in an old shed and an iron roof covers the actual structure.

Archaeologists say the Roman bath should be buried or covered properly.

We want families down there and we want it to stay as natural as possible
Rachael Bridgman

Tiles from the floor and the side of the building are currently stacked in boxes, still showing their Roman Navy stamps.

Pottery from the site has been stored and the actual structure, which is part buried and partly above ground, still shows the remains of the under-floor heating system and tiled clothes lockers.

Archaeologists believe the Roman bath has the highest free-standing Roman window in the country.

Roman bath
Remains of the walls are partly above ground

The owners want the site preserved.

Rachael Bridgman, who represents the owners, said: "We want it to go back to its original state, so everyone can enjoy it.

"We want families down there and we want it to stay as natural as possible."

But putting the remains on public display would cost millions, campaigners say.

David Dixson, spokesman for the Beauport Park Archaeological Trust, based in Ewhurst Green, said: "We can either go for reburial, which would preserve the building for the next millennia, or we can go for a cover building.

"Either way, it will be expensive."

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