Roman villa and earlier settlement remains in Badminton Park, 340m south of Hinnegar Lodges


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Roman villa and earlier settlement remains in Badminton Park, 340m south of Hinnegar Lodges
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1021415 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Oct-2019 at 03:22:08.


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

South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 81080 85662

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.

Despite ploughing, the Roman villa in Badminton Park survives very well and is known to contain at least one very well preserved mosaic together with information relating to the construction and demise of the complex. Geophysical survey combined with partial excavation has clearly illustrated the character and extent of this important settlement. Evidence for earlier settlement on the same site strongly suggests that there maybe more chronological depth than the excavations have already suggested.


The monument includes a Roman villa and earlier settlement situated on a gently rolling plateaux within Badminton Park. The villa lies within the much larger Grade I registered parkland around Badminton House. The Roman villa's presence was first suggested by a scatter of pottery and roof slabs. Its character and extent was confirmed by geophysical survey followed by partial excavation, which revealed a substantial and relatively complete mosaic which is geometric in design and believed to date between AD360 and 380. The villa building itself is 55m long by 20m wide and faces ESE. The northern end of the building is denoted by an apse in which the excavated mosaic survives, whilst the southern end may be a bathhouse. Excavations have confirmed that the original Roman plaster survives attached to the remaining walls and that the building was abandoned following a catastrophic fire. To the east of the main building are at least two outbuildings each measuring approximately 20m long by 12m wide. Between these buildings are the possible remains of garden features. A further building lies a short distance from the southern outbuilding, but because it overlies the ditch surrounding the villa complex it is not known whether this structure belongs to the Roman period. The whole of the villa complex is surrounded by a 1.5m wide boundary ditch forming a trapezium shaped enclosure. In the eastern corner of this villa enclosure is a small paddock. At least five small circular features together with two larger oval shaped enclosures and a small number of linear ditches surviving within and adjacent to the villa enclosure may represent the site of a pre-Roman settlement. The geophysical survey also revealed a series of parallel bands of high and low resistance trending from north-west to south-east and extending over most of the villa complex. These probably represent the remains of medieval ridge and furrow ploughing. The surface of the estate road leading through the monument is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground below is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Martin, M, Martin, J, Jackson, A, Badminton - a geophysical survey, (2003)
Osgood, R, 'Council for British Archaeology South-West' in The Roman Mosaic at Badminton, , Vol. 12, (2004), 28-9


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].