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4th century Dining Room, Lullingstone Roman Villa, Eynsford, Kent

4th century Dining Room, Lullingstone Roman Villa, Eynsford, Kent
Photograph taken 1st December 2000 © Peter Dunn. Source Historic England Archive Photo Library ref: J000136

Reconstruction drawing of the villa's dining room in c380 AD. It shows a banquet beside the large and impressive mosaic. The villa was discovered in 1939. It was built in about 100 AD. The site is particularly important for evidence of early Christianity. The first villa was a large house built of wattle and daub. It was rebuilt and expanded in stone in the second half of the second century. Finds from the site suggest that it may have been associated with Publius Helvius Pertinax. He was governor of Britain in AD185-6 and briefly emperor in AD 193. North of the main building are the remains of a mausoleum built in the early 4th century and incorporated into a late Saxon church. From circa 360 AD a large dining room was built and the north rooms were converted into a Christian chapel. This chapel contains a set of wall paintings with clear Christian symbolism, which is unique in the context of a Roman villa from Britain. The villa was apparently abandoned after a fire during the 5th century- possibly around 420. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).

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