REMINDERS of Carlisle’s rich Roman past have been discovered by builders working in West Walls.
The remains, which include a complex under-floor heating system, were found last month while builders were excavating foundations for a property development.
It is believed that they may have been part of a bath-house serving a post house for travelling government officials.
The remains have been removed to be studied, but may return as an display in the garden area of the five flats, to be known as Weaver Court, which will be completed in August.
Dave Sullivan, contracts manager for Boardwell Building company, said: “In the building we were in we had an idea there would be something there.
“It was really good to find them – it’s unearthing part of history.”
The artifacts included large pillars – known as monoliths – and tubes through which hot air would have been blown into a series of rooms via an outside furnace.
Carlisle, which went by the Roman name Luguvallium, was the most north-western town in the Roman Empire.
But remains from the period have never been found so far west, suggesting that the Roman town was larger than historians previously believed.
Archaeologist Ian Caruana, who was on-site to watch the excavation, said: “It has helped us confirm the intention of this building and gives a good indication of the importance of this part of the town.”
The current building was converted into houses in the mid 19th century and then to flats in 1957.
Structural problems have occurred over time due to medieval ground build-up and sewers installed in the 19th century, which weakened the foundations.
The building and the surrounding area have been further damaged by increased traffic and vandalism, making the excavation necessary.
K3D Partnership, the development wing of Phoenix Architecture & Planning of Abbey Street, are developing the building.
They are working with assistance from Carlisle City Council and English Heritage as part of the council’s Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme.