At the beginning of February all of Year 8 visited St Albans & Welwyn Roman Baths, over two days, on their annual curriculum visit. It was a chance for the students to see some of the items and places they have studied in the Cambridge Latin Course this year and to find out in more detail just why the area was so important in Roman Britannia two thousand years ago.
During a busy day in Hertfordshire the students had the chance to see the remains of a private bath house in Welwyn which had once belonged to a local family and to really get to grips with how such a bath house would have worked and how the different parts of it linked together. Then it was on to St Albans to explore the remains of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium where extensive excavations have taken place in the last hundred years. In the museum there was a wide range of local finds to investigate, including the magnificent collection of mosaics that was unearthed in the area. There was also the chance for students to handle some of the museum’s artefacts in an excellent handling session in which a wide range of objects from all aspects of daily life two thousand years ago were on show.
Finally, the students finished off their tour of St Albans with a visit to see a mosaic floor, which has been left in situ in the middle of Verulamium Park, in the heart of modern day St Albans, not only to show its intricate design but because underneath it are the remains of an under floor heating system, a hypocaust. This would have heated the room in the villa which had housed the mosaic efficiently by allowing hot air to be pumped under the floor and would have been almost as effective as many of our central heating systems today.
Both days in St Albans & Welwyn were very enjoyable and the students gained a great deal from the experience. Many thanks to Mr Harrison for co-ordinating the visits and to all those staff who accompanied the groups.