Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

9:00pm Thursday, February 24 on C4

It’s October and the final push is on to get the Roman villa completed, before the winter weather makes building impossible. But things aren’t going well. The plaster in the showpiece main room won’t set, so the painting of the frescoes can’t begin. The mosaic tiles won’t stick and worrying cracking noises are coming from the hypocaust floor. Will the villa be completed in time for its designer, Dai Morgan Evans, to treat everyone to an authentic banquet to re-enact the Roman feast day of Saturnalia.

9:00pm Thursday, February 17 on C4

It’s September and the villa is rapidly taking shape. Labourer Ben is given the task of laying his mud bricks and covering the wattle and daub with a mixture that includes animal dung. As usual his work rate fails to impress Jim and even his mates despair of the time it’s taking him. And the bath house nears completion, but a test firing of its under-floor heating system ends in a cloud of thick smoke.

9:00pm Thursday, February 10 on C4

The builders have reached the halfway point in their attempt to construct a Roman Villa. The giant wooden frame has been successfully erected and it’s a race to get the roof on before the weather breaks. While foreman Jim supervises this, the other builders head off to explore their artistic sides. Back on the site, when someone daubs the roof in graffiti, villa designer Dai Morgan Evans is understandably upset and goes in search of the culprit.

9:00pm Thursday, January 27 on C4

Six skilled builders are trying to construct the first authentic Roman villa in Britain in 1,600 years, using only tools and materials that were available to the Romans. Archaeologist Dai Morgan Evans, the villa’s designer, feels they should be making faster progress. To inspire them, Dai takes the builders to see some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world, at Ephesus in Turkey. Back in Wroxeter, the men get to grips with making tubulae.

9:00pm Thursday, January 20 on C4

Two thousand years ago, Britain was studded with luxurious Roman villas. But today only ruins remain. Now, six skilled ordinary builders are about to change that. Foreman Jim, plasterer Tim, plumber Kevin, carpenter Fred, brickie Darren and labourer Ben are going to try to construct the first authentic Roman villa in Britain in 1,600 years, using only tools and materials that were available to the Romans. The villa will be built at Wroxeter in Shropshire, once a major Roman city. In this episode the builders meet Prof. Dai Morgan Evans, the archaeologist who’s designed their villa.

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