Roman villa 300yds (270m) NW of Engleton Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006082
Date first listed: 24-Sep-1974
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)
Parish: Brewood and Coven
National Grid Reference: SJ 89478 10214
Roman villa 380m WNW of Engleton Hall.
Reasons for Designation
Romano-British villas were extensive rural estates at the focus of which were groups of domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings. The term "villa" is now commonly used to describe either the estate or the buildings themselves. The buildings usually include a well-appointed dwelling house, the design of which varies considerably according to the needs, taste and prosperity of the occupier. Most of the houses were partly or wholly stone-built, many with a timber-framed superstructure on masonry footings. Roofs were generally tiled and the house could feature tiled or mosaic floors, underfloor heating, wall plaster, glazed windows and cellars. Many had integral or separate suites of heated baths. The house was usually accompanied by a range of buildings providing accommodation for farm labourers, workshops and storage for agricultural produce. These were arranged around or alongside a courtyard and were surrounded by a complex of paddocks, pens, yards and features such as vegetable plots, granaries, threshing floors, wells and hearths, all approached by tracks leading from the surrounding fields. Villa buildings were constructed throughout the period of Roman occupation, from the first to the fourth centuries AD. They are usually complex structures occupied over several hundred years and continually remodelled to fit changing circumstances. They could serve a wide variety of uses alongside agricultural activities, including administrative, recreational and craft functions, and this is reflected in the considerable diversity in their plan. Villa owners tended to be drawn from a limited elite section of Romano-British society. Although some villas belonged to immigrant Roman officials or entrepreneurs, the majority seem to have been in the hands of wealthy natives with a more-or-less Romanised lifestyle, and some were built directly on the sites of Iron Age farmsteads. The majority of these are classified as `minor' villas to distinguish them from `major' villas. Roman villas provide a valuable index of the rate, extent and degree to which native British society became Romanised, as well as indicating the sources of inspiration behind changes of taste and custom. In addition, they serve to illustrate the agrarian and economic history of the Roman province, allowing comparisons over wide areas both within and beyond Britain. As a very diverse and often long-lived type of monument, many are identified as nationally important.
The Roman villa 380m WNW of Engleton Hall has be shown by partial excavation to survive well despite some damage through quarrying at its southern end. It is associated with a number of Romano-British sites including a Roman town situated to the north east which built up around the important strategic route of Watling Street. The monument will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development and use over a period of at least 200 years.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 June 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the buried remains of a Roman villa situated on a slightly elevated position on the eastern bank of the River Penk. Excavation in the 1930s revealed a winged courtyard layout facing east, including at least four principal rooms, a bath house wing and portico. Traces of a defensive boundary including a bank and ditch surround the villa complex. At least three building phases were identified and the artefacts recovered suggest occupation at the site from at least the 2nd to 4th century. The villa was sited just over 450m south of Watling Street, a principal Roman road running from Dover to Wroxeter, and the Roman town of Pennocrucium was situated just over 700m to the north east.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ST 235
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing