A FOURTH century Roman mosaic which sat in the storeroom of Bridgwater’s Blake Museum for 47 years has been restored and unveiled to the public.

Lady Gass, the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, revealed the mosaic at the museum’s Archaeology Gallery last week for the first time since the Spaxton Roman Villa was discovered nearly 50 years ago.

Honorary Museum Curator, Dr Peter Cattermole, said: “Volunteers have been working towards this day for many months.

“It is wonderful that we can start a new museum season displaying a rare item that links us all with the people living and working around Bridgwater about 1,600 years ago.”

Members of Bridgwater Field Club began to unearth a Roman villa near Roughmoor Farm, Charlynch, in the 60s. Wall foundations were identified, along with mosaic floors, one of which was intact.

Parts of the floor were preserved and lay in the museum’s storeroom until the museum was rejuvenated and funds were raised to have two sections fully restored for public display.

Local support for an appeal by Bridgwater and District Archaeological Society (BDAS), with grants from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society’s Maltwood Fund and Bridgwater Town Council, funded the project.

David Baker, specialist in Roman artefacts and chairman of BDAS said: “Since we found this remarkable work of art I have dreamt of being able to show it to the people of Bridgwater.

“It is a beautiful example of the rich history of this area, stretching right back into the stone-age, on show at the Museum.”

Bridgwater Mayor, Cllr Pat Parker said: “The Council and its Museum Committee congratulate the curator of the museum and the volunteers on the exceptional work they have carried out in renovating the Museum and in bringing local history to life for the Bridgwater community.”