Romano-British villa and traces of Iron Age occupation 500m WSW of New Barn
List Entry Summary
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 Culture, Media and Sport.
Name: Romano-British villa and traces of Iron Age occupation 500m WSW of New Barn
List entry Number: 1015886
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 04-Apr-1939
Date of most recent amendment: 31-Jan-1997
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM
This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List entry Description
Summary of Monument
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 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
Although it has been disturbed by modern ploughing, the villa 500m WSW of New Barn survives comparatively well. Part excavation has shown that it retains structural remains and archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the development of the monument over at least two centuries. The villa is one of a number of similarly well-appointed country estates established in this part of West Sussex during the first century AD, indicating the rapid Romanisation of the Chichester hinterland in the decades following the Claudian invasion.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes a Romano-British villa and traces of earlier, Iron Age
occupation situated on the coastal plain of West Sussex 3km from the Channel
coast at Littlehampton. The villa buildings are situated on a slightly raised,
east-west aligned tongue of land originally bounded to the north and south by
streams, and to the west by marshland. Surviving in the form of buried flint
rubble and brick footings, the buildings were shown by part excavation during
the 1930s and 1940s to be the result of at least three phases of development
and remodelling carried out between the first and third centuries AD.
The main, domestic range is represented by a roughly rectangular, NNW-SSE
aligned building measuring about 46m by 21m which lies towards the north
western edge of the monument. Around 80m to the east of the main range, and
separated from it by a ditched enclosure, is a roughly east-west aligned,
detached bath house. This was constructed around AD 65 and incorporated mosaic
and opus signinum floors and Sussex and Italian marble fittings. Finds
recovered during the excavations include a metal door lock, a pair of bronze
and silver tweezers, bronze jewellery and coins. The excavations indicated
that the bath building was dismantled during the first half of the second
century AD. At least four further masonry buildings have been identified by
investigation of the southern part of the monument, including a second,
smaller and less substantially built bath house and a possible temple
represented by an east-west aligned, rectangular building measuring about
6.2m by 4.1m, with walls up to 2.2m thick. The other masonry structures, along
with several timber buildings also uncovered during the excavations, have been
interpreted as having an agricultural or industrial function. The discovery of
a fragment of rotary quern and an associated corn drying oven suggest that
part of the villa's economy was based on arable farming.
Evidence for the use of the site during the preceding Iron Age period was
provided by part of a boundary ditch and a group of associated pits containing
discarded pottery and animal bones found near the western edge of the
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
Books and journals
Keef, P, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Angmering Roman Villa Site: An interim report on excavations, , Vol. 84, (1944), 82-107
Wilson, A E, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Angmering Roman Villa, , Vol. 86, (1947), 1-21
Scott, L, Angmering Roman Villa, Sussex Archaeological Collections, (1939)
Scott, L, The Roman Villa at Angmering, Sussex Archaeological Collections, (1938)
National Grid Reference: TQ 05370 04471
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015886 .pdf
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Feb-2018 at 07:40:44.
End of official listing