|The British countryside is a beautiful place to visit and so a couple of years ago a group of us spent a weekend exploring the Cotswold countryside. We didn’t get to try out the deckchairs that had been strategically placed, but we did get to explore a Roman villa and discover more about what the Romans did in Britain. |
Chedworth Roman villa is a National Trust property that enjoys idyllic rural views. It is one of the largest Roman villas in Britain and it’s principal rooms contain some of the most impressive in-situ Roman mosaics in the country.
The Guide shared stories of the villa’s history and told us about recent archaeological work taking place. The heyday of the Villa was the late 4th Century AD but it was lost and buried until a chance discovery in the 1800’s.
Initial reconstruction work was carried out in the nineteenth century.“One summer in 1864 was all it took for James Farrer, an experienced excavator and uncle to John Scott, 3rd Lord Eldon, to uncover Chedworth Roman Villa. Having gathered a team of estate workers, James felled the wood and revealed the walls and mosaics of one of Britain’s largest remaining Roman villas.”
Victorian and Roman heritage at the villa
Surprisingly there is also a Victorian building in the middle of the area which contains a small museum. The building was erected when the villa was first rediscovered.
The latest group of archaeologists have just returned for the final dig of a five-year programme aiming to discover more about the villa’s original structure and use, and to see what condition the surviving archaeology is in.
The villa has bath-house rooms and hypocaust systems on display.
|Chedworth Roman Villa is closed for the winter but looks forward to opening to visitors again this year|