The Roman Bathhouse

The Roman Bathhouse workshopKey Stage 2 workshop


The Bathhouse in Wigan was discovered when building started on the Grand Arcade shopping centre. There was a full excavation of the site undertaken by Oxford Archaeology North. Unfortunately only a small reconstructed sample of the site remains.

This workshop uses a range of sources to show children how we understand what was actually found here in the centre of the town only a few years ago. The findings that came from the bathhouse are part of the history of both the town and Britain. It shows how these invaders from an ancient empire also changed the landscape of where we live.

Pre-visit activities

Discuss: How do we know for certain that the Romans were in Wigan? What sort of clues could they have left behind? Why did they build on top of a hill with a river close by?

Find out: Where the Roman Bathhouse was situated in Wigan and what the Roman name was for Wigan.

Your workshop

We start the workshop by discovering how archaeologists verified that the remains discovered in Wigan in 2005 were a Roman Bathhouse. We know what it was but what was a bathhouse used for in Roman times?

Children then have the opportunity to handle artefacts, items which are nearly 2000 years old and found in Wigan. We talk about where these items came from and what they were used for by the Romans.

The children will take part in 2 activities. We look at replica coins and photographs of actual Roman coins found in Wigan, then children complete a worksheet. In the second activity children sort out a basket of objects into Roman and Modern items. We then have a mystery object - what did the Romans use it for?

Follow up activities

Discuss: How can you compare the Roman Bathhouse to a Leisure Centre today? What things would be the same and what would be different?

Find out: Where in the North West of England could you find other Roman settlements?


  • This workshop will be delivered at the Museum of Wigan Life
  • The session will last for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • To book or for any further information please contact us.

To further support teaching, the Schools Cultural Service also provide book and museum loans.

For further information contact us.

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