THE remains of three near-complete Roman buildings have been discovered under a city centre park, archaeologists have revealed.

Scans using ground- penetrating radar appear to show two large masonry houses and an unusually-shaped third building dating back more than 1,000 years.

Civic leaders in Chichester, have hailed the discovery of the three properties – worth millions of pounds in today’s property market – as being of national historical importance.

James Kenny, archaeologist at Chichester District Council, said it was very unusual to find Roman properties to have survived in such a setting and to be so complete.

He said: “What’s remarkable about the discovery is that it has survived over 1,000 years in a currently occupied city. The only reason they have survived is because they are under a park that has never been built on.”

The discovery was made after geophysics specialist David Staveley used radar equipment with the agreement of Mr Kenny, who felt Chichester’s parks were the most likely place to find remains.

Following the results from the scans, Mr Kenny and the local archaeology society carried out a small dig in Priory Park, and the findings were confirmed – leaving experts stunned.

Mr Kenny said: “The location marks what may have been one of the more affluent parts of the Roman town, with these houses being the equivalent to a property worth millions of pounds in today’s society.”