Senhouse Roman Museum
Location : Maryport
Grid Ref : NY 037373
The Battery, Sea Brows, Maryport. CA15 6JD. Tel: 01900 816168
Email : [email protected]
The building was built by the Navy in 1885 as a Naval Artillery Reserve Drill Hall. The Battery dominates the narrow strip of land between the front of the Roman Fort, and the edge of the Sea Brows 180 feet above the shore north of Maryport. The red sandstone masonry came mainly from nearby fields and shows Roman workmanship. The rest came from local quarries. Over 200 Maryport men were trained here each year in Naval gunnery.
The 1966 military cuts, ended its life as a Naval building. It was saved from demolition by the efforts of Maryport people.
The Museum is home to the oldest collection of Roman artefacts in Britain. The collection was started by John Senhouse of the Netherhall about 1570. After passing through various members of the Senhouse family, it eventually passed to Mr P.J. Scott Plummer in 1970 and a charitable Trust was set up to preserve the collection for the benefit of the public.
The Museum is adjacent to the remains of a Roman Fort from which the artefacts have been recovered. These include the largest collection of Roman altars from a single site in Britain, many fine religious sculptures including the mysterious Serpent Stone. Also on view is a reconstruction of the shrine from the fort’s headquarters, plus interpretative panels describing the fort, the Roman coastal defences, and the Senhouse family history.
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For more information see www.senhousemuseum.co.uk.