Romano-British villa east of Sandy Lane, 800m north west of Harpham Grange

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013628

Date first listed: 28-Aug-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Nov-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Romano-British villa east of Sandy Lane, 800m north west of Harpham Grange
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Harpham

National Grid Reference: TA 08997 63455

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 found throughout lowland Britain and between 400 and 1000 examples have been recorded in England. Of these less than 10 are examples of `major' villas. These were the largest, most substantial and opulent type of villa which were built and used by a small but extremely wealthy section of Romano-British society. 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. All major villas will be identified as nationally important.

Despite partial excavations in the early part of this century, and again in the 1950s when mosaic pavements were removed, significant remains of this villa survive, together with indications of earlier settlements dating to the Iron Age and early Romano-British period.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British villa situated in fields to the east side of Sandy Lane, between the A166 Burton Agnes to Bridlington road to the south, and the section of the Roman road between Kilham and Bridlington to the north. In around 1904, traces of tesserae, brick, tile, glass beads, oyster shells and Roman pottery indicated the existence of the villa in what was then known as Crosstrod field. The site was then excavated by Collier and Sheppard in 1905, when three mosaic floors and some wall plaster were discovered, although with few structural remains. The site was excavated again in 1951 and 1955 by members of the Bridlington Augustinian Society. An E-shaped building with three wings and interconnecting corridor, floored with mosaics, was found, dated to the fourth century AD by the finding of a coin of Constantine in mint condition (AD305). A hypocaust and a workshop were also found. Evidence of earlier occupations of Iron Age and third century AD date were found in the form of fragmentary buildings and other finds, including pottery. Modern post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 26523

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Garlick, T, Roman Sites in Yorkshire, (1971), 59
'East Riding Antiquarian Society Transactions' in East Riding Antiquarian Society's Transactions: Volume XIII part 2, (1907)
'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, (1952), 149
Other
AM7,
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1987)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Mellor, E, The Harpham Roman Villa, unpublished ms. ?1950 or 1956

End of official listing