Romano-British villa at Mount Pleasant Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1013627
Date first listed: 22-Oct-1968
Date of most recent amendment: 06-Nov-1995
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Kirton in Lindsey
National Grid Reference: SE 93927 00359
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. The least
elaborate villas served as simple farmhouses whilst, for the most complex, the
term "palace" is not inappropriate. 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. The majority of these are classified as `minor' villas to
distinguish them from `major' villas. The latter were a very small group of
extremely substantial and opulent villas built by the very wealthiest members
of Romano-British society. Minor villas are found throughout lowland Britain
and occasionally beyond. 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, a
significant proportion of the known population are identified as nationally
Evidence indicates that the villa site at Mount Pleasant Farm still survives in good condition, complete with foundation walls and tessellated pavements. Finds of Roman artefacts on the site during ploughing confirm the importance of this site, which will retain significant architectural features and archaeological information relating to the Romano-British period in Britain.
The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British villa, situated in two
fields to the east of Mount Pleasant Farm, North Cliff Road, Kirton in
The site was first discovered in August 1964, during the ploughing of a field
which had been under pasture for many years. This disclosed a scatter of
building debris including many faced stones, tesserae, wall plaster and opus
signinum (a flooring material similar to concrete) fragments, tiles and a
variety of samian, greyware, shell-gritted and colour coated pottery types.
The nature of these remains confirm that a Romano-British villa once stood
here. Part of a tessellated pavement was later exposed in the corner of the
orchard, in 1975.
Other surface finds discovered during subsequent ploughing include a bronze
penannular brooch, loom weights, a small, votive bronze axe head, and several
deliberately cut deer antlers.
All modern fencing and animal feed and water dispensers are excluded from the
scheduling. The paved surface of the private access road which leads from the
main highway to the farm is also excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath all these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 26521
Legacy System: RSM
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Mnt Pleasant Farm Owners, (1994)
Walker, J., AM107, (1983)
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