Institute of Archaeology


Digital preservation of Welwyn Roman Baths

14 March 2024

Kris Lockyear and Antonio Reis (UCL Institute of Archaeology) have created a digital 3D model of Welwyn Roman Baths to help preserve the archaeology on the site.

A man taking photographs in a historic site/museum location with grey coloured stone work

A photogrammetry project is being undertaken at the site of Welwyn Roman Baths in Hertfordshire to produce a digital 3D model that will be used to track the condition of the site to see if more conservation work is needed.

The baths were part of the Dicket Mead Roman villa which was built in the 3rd century AD. The site was excavated by the Welwyn Archaeological Society during the 1960s and early 1970s under the directorship of local archaeologist Tony Rook. The remains are now preserved in a vault under the A1(M) motorway and have been open to the public since the mid-1970s.

A vertical image of the Welwyn Roman Baths site

Antonio Reis (Technician in Photographic and Digital Heritage Imaging) recorded the bath house using photogrammetry, a technique which involves taking multiple overlapping 2D photographs to make the 3D model.

According to Kris Lockyear (who also now runs the Welwyn Archaeological Society):

3D recording using photogrammetry has become an important item in the archaeologist's toolbox helping us record everything from tiny objects to landscapes.  The model of the Baths will help with both public engagement with the site as well as monitoring of the remains for conservation purposes.

Digital model of Welwyn Roman Baths

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