Model idea to help Fishbourne Roman Palace visitors

Fishbourne volunteer Gillian Crowley and model maker Chris Read with the new model
Fishbourne volunteer Gillian Crowley and model maker Chris Read with the new model

FISHBOURNE Roman Palace is now the proud owner of a new tactile model of the building made by Chris Read, of Selsey.

Roman Palace volunteer Gillian Crowley noticed the difficulty in explaining the layout of the site to visually impaired visitors and thought having a tactile model would help so she enlisted the help of her friend Chris Read, chairman of the Selsey Model Boat Club.

Chris embraced the idea wholeheartedly and turned his talents from building model boats and ships to making a one-off model of Fishbourne Roman Palace, using only photographs and a plan of the original site as a guide.

The model took three years to complete from initial experiments to planning, building and adding the finishing touches, including the painstaking job of individually gluing 5,000 1cm square roof tiles. The finishing touches included some ingenious ideas such as using scouring pads for the hedges.

Fishbourne’s head of learning, Katrina Burton said: “We are so grateful to Gillian for suggesting the idea and to Chris who dedicated so much time in making this magnificent model.

“It will help us to explain about the layout of the Palace and how it developed over time, to our visually impaired visitors.”