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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: Roman villa 300m south of Long Shaw

List Entry Number: 1008896


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

County: Essex
District: Epping Forest
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Loughton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Aug-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24863

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.

As confirmed by partial excavation, the Roman villa south of Long Shaw survives well below the ploughsoil. Only a small part of the site has been excavated leaving the greater part of the buried remains of the buildings and associated deposits and structures undisturbed. These deposits will contain information about the construction and layout of the villa and its associated buildings, whilst the associated artefactual information, and any environmental deposits which may survive at the base of the sequence, will add to our understanding of the life-style and economy of the inhabitants and of the landscape in which they lived. The evidence from the site is valuable for understanding Roman rural settlement in this part of south east England.


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


The monument includes a Roman villa situated just below the crest of a rise in the chalky boulder clay overlying the London Clay. The gentle south east facing slope runs down towards the River Roding 1km away. The location of the building has been identified from a concentration of building and occupation material recovered from fieldwalking, including Roman roof tile, pottery and quern stone fragments. The main concentration covers an area of c.120m north west to south east by 70m north east to south west. Foundations and floor layers are believed to survive in the north west part of this area. The site was originally noted in 1976 during the excavation of a crashed plane. A surface collection of material was then undertaken. In addition to Roman material, some Iron Age pottery and Mesolithic flint tools were also recovered.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Essex Sites and Monuments Record 139, (1985)


National Grid Reference: TQ 44948 97329

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Feb-2018 at 04:33:41.