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View of the bath house looking east

Recently I visited a key heritage site in Flintshire: the Prestatyn Roman Bath House, Melyd Avenue, Prestatyn, Denbighshire (PRN 33853). You can search for the site on Archwilio and the site of Prestatyn is discussed in a useful review of Roman North-East Wales on the CPAT website here. Discovered during excavations between 1934 and 1937 and reinvestigated in 1985, this civilian bathhouse was associated with the Roman station/fort to the north. Dating to between c. AD 120 and 150, the bath house shows signs of ongoing occupation to the fourth century. The military presence here began around AD 70 and might have been connected to lead mining in the hills close by.

Today, the visitor experiences two car parking spaces from the road and a well-kept garden beyond enclosed on all sides by private housing. Fronting the garden is a bench and a single heritage board on a stone plinth, the back-side of which has an iconic mosaic depicting key symbols linked to the Legio XX Valeria Victrix based in Chester. Beyond this, the ruins are laid out in a sunken walled garden, uphill from which (to the north) are two lawned terraces interspersed by trees and other plantings.

It may not sound particularly impressive, and the sign to the location is easily missed from the main Prestatyn – Dyserth road. However, I can wholeheartedly recommend anyone visit this well-preserved and well-displayed relic of Roman military presence on the North Wales coast. I should also say, in addition to its historical importance, it is great place for young kids to run around!

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