Roman villa at Linley Hall
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006253
Date first listed: 08-Mar-1972
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2018 at 07:57:42.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 34655 92687
Part of an extensive Romano-British landscape 210m south of Linley Hall.
Reasons for Designation
Romano-British villas were extensive rural estates with groups of domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings at their focus. 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, under-floor 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 industrial or 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. Roman villa buildings are widespread, with between 400 and 1000 examples recorded nationally. 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. An aqueduct is an artificial channel used to carry water. All known Roman aqueducts functioned on a gravity flow principle, whereby a water source was impounded at a higher level than the place to be supplied, and was then made to flow to it under the influence of gravity. Water was needed for domestic purposes including bathing and drainage, and also for some industrial processes. They often extended for several kilometres following contour levels. The earliest aqueducts date from the period immediately following the Roman Conquest of Britain. These early examples are associated almost exclusively with military activity and provided water to forts. By the end of the 2nd Century, most forts and also public towns had been provided with aqueducts, the need for water being driven particularly by the construction of elaborate bath houses, and the developing fashion of bathing as a social activity amongst both the military and civilian populations. Aqueducts were used throughout the Roman period, and some were still functioning into the 5th century AD. Only 60 have now been identified to survive. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into Roman engineering skills and both military and civilian life, all surviving examples are important. A hush is a gully or ravine excavated at least in part by use of a controlled torrent of water, to reveal or exploit a vein of lead or other mineral ore. Dams and leats to supply the water are normally associated, and some examples show tips of waste from manual ore processing beside the hush itself. Shaft and adit mine workings sometimes occur in spatial association, though their working will not have been contemporary with that of the hush. There is documentary evidence for hushing from the Roman period on the continent. Excavation and aerial photographs indicate that despite subsequent landscaping the part of an extensive Romano-British landscape 210m south of Linley Hall survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development, interrelationships between, chronological order, longevity, abandonment and landscape context of all the elements whether they are domestic, agricultural, industrial, economic, social or political.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes part of an extensive Romano- British landscape situated on the gentle south facing slopes of the wide valley of the River West Onny. The scheduling includes elements of a minor villa, aqueduct, mining settlement and associated lead mine which generally survive as buried structures, features, layers and deposits some visible as crop and soil marks on aerial photographs and others have been confirmed by partial excavations. In 1856 excavations revealed part of an elaborate building said to be the main dwelling house of the villa complex with at least three rooms, pillared hypocausts, drains, some gravel and mosaic floors (one of which was removed and placed in the nearby church). This work also revealed an over 268m length of contemporary stone lined aqueduct, and further lengths of walling of up to 73m and 45m in length connected with other buildings to the south of the present road. Aerial photographs have revealed further extensive hydraulic lead mine workings (probably a hush) with associated buildings indicating a mining settlement associated with this important villa and forming part of its contemporary landscape.This section of the landscape also lies within the Grade II Registered Park of Linley Hall.
The full extent of the Romano-British landscape is not included in the scheduling because it has not all been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SA 289
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 107568 and 871046
Shropshire HER 01226
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