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Romano-British villa at Kingshill Farm

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 at Kingshill Farm

List entry Number: 1018434

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Cricklade

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-Oct-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Feb-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31664

Asset Groupings

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 important.

The Roman villa at Kingshill Farm is well preserved. Partial excavation has shown that it contains information that will relate to the economy of the area in the Roman period and environmental information relating to the landscape in which it was built.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the recorded extent of a Romano British villa situated on low lying clay land at Kingshill Farm. The farm is situated 200m south west of Ermin Street, to the north west of Swindon, near the River Ray, a tributary of the Thames. The building, which lies beneath waste ground is known from partial excavation. A trench revealed two large walls, 0.7m thick built from rectangular Corralian limestone set in pink mortar. One, traced for a length of 13m is orientated east-west and is joined 3m from its eastern end by another 5m long and orientated north-south. In the western angle, less substantial walls form a series of rooms with a mortar floor. Immediately to the east of the north-south wall a series of channels branch from a gap in the east-west wall which is interpreted as a stoke hole, part of a channelled hypercaust heating system. The channels are about 0.3m wide and lined with horizontal slabs of coral rag. Large quantities of Roman domestic ware and some imitation Samian ware has been found adjacent to the site, demonstrating that it will extend beyond the area of the scheduling. However this area in not fully understood and is not included in the scheduling.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Callender, M, Thomas, N, 'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society' in A Roman House at Kingshill Cricklade, , Vol. 55, (1954), 34-39

National Grid Reference: SU 11694 92577

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1018434 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 08:27:22.

End of official listing