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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 196297

Hob Uid: 196297
Location :
Somerset
South Somerset
West Coker
Grid Ref : ST5280013800
Summary : Excavations have uncovered the site of a Roman villa; foundations, tesserae, painted wall plaster, pottery, a figurine of Mars and Iron Age horse trappings and a brooch were recovered. It was occupied 3rd-4th centuries AD.
More information : [ST 528138] Chessels [TI] Roman Building [GS] (Site of) (1)

A Roman villa, in a field called Chessels at West Coker (ST 528138) was discovered and partially examined by Mr. John Moore in 1861. Few definite foundations were met with, but abundant evidence of a house, such as many tesserae, painted wall plaster, tiles and roof slates, was found. The excavators believed the house to have been burnt down, the site robbed, and a subsequent building of rude character erected from the burnt stones (2) (3). Among the small finds were some pre-Roman objects, including a bronze ring and a bronze boat shaped brooch of Italian (Halstatt) type (? 7th c. BC). It is also suggested that five Early Iron Age bronzes (horse trappings) displayed in Yeovil Museum alongside this brooch, may also have come from the site (4). Roman finds included a bronze statuette of Mars, an inscribed bronze plate (possibly belonging to the statuette), much pottery (Samian and Coarse), and coins from Faustina I to Valens. Further excavations in 1958 (ST 528138) revealed stone foundations suggesting a substantial wall of a building. Iron nails were found also stone tiles, tesserae, a wide range of R.B. pottery and twelve coins of Victorinus (AD 268-70) to Theodosius I (AD 388-95). (2-5)

The 1958 excavation took place at ST 52841382 (a). The site, at present under grass, shows no signs of any platforms or foundations. (6)

West Coker is generally accepted as a Villa. The bronze plate is inscribed with a dedication to Mars Rigisamus, whom the statuette represents; but these evidently indicate no more than the practice of his cult at the villa. (7-10)

SO 68 Listed as the site of a Roman villa. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" (prov.) 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : J British Archaeol Assoc 18 1862 pp392-15 (J. Moore)
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Source Number : 10
Source : A corpus of religious material from the civilian areas of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 184
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Vol(s) : 24
Source Number : 11
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 172
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Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : J British Archaeol Assoc 19 1863 pp321-2
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Somerset Archaeol Nat Hist Soc 96 1951 pp108/11 (Sir C. Fox)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Somerset Archaeol Nat Hist Soc 103 1958/9 p16
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ANK 25-JAN-67
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Source Number : 6a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Excavation Report, Map Yeovil Archaeol Soc
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Source Number : 7
Source : Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 224
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Roman Villa in South West England 1976 passim (K Branigan)
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Source Number : 9
Source : The Roman West Country : classical culture and Celtic society
Source details :
Page(s) : 137, 138
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Villa
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : HORSE TRAPPING, RING, BROOCH
Object Material : Bronze
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Villa
Object Type : FIGURINE
Object Material : Bronze

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 54658
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 280
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 51 SW 28
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : WEST COKER ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1861-01-01
End Date : 1861-12-31
Associated Activities : WEST COKER ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1958-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 51 SW 28
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-01-25
End Date : 1967-01-25
Associated Activities : WEST COKER ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : THE CHESSELS, WEST COKER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31