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Historic England Research Records

Box Roman Villa

Hob Uid: 207955
Location :
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Box
Grid Ref : ST8230868510
Summary : The site of a Roman villa located north of Box Church has been excavated on a number of occasions since the early 19th century. It is a courtyard villa, including a bath suite, and so far over 40 rooms have been investigated. It is dated to circa AD 200-370.
More information : [ST 8232 6854] ROMAN VILLA [GS] (Site of) (1)

A Roman villa, north of Box Church was excavated on several occasions during the 19th c, and by Sir Harold Brakspear in 1902-3. Further finds were made 1922-6. It was a courtyard villa with over 40 rooms, including a bath suite.
[See plans: AO/66/308/5 and 6]
Numerous finds, including stone reliefs, are in Devizes Museum.
The site of the villa is covered by parts of the church, churchyard and surrounding houses and gardens and up to the early 19th c. by the mill-pond and dam of a mill belonging to Monkton Farleigh priory. (2-5)

There are no visible remains of the villa.
No further information. (6)

ST 825 686. The excavation was sited east of the nucleus of the villa. Part of the east wing, a large culvert and a boundary wall were shown to be fourth century additions. (7)

Re-excavation of part of the north wing previously uncovered 60 years ago, showed that the features discovered were part of a substantial enlargement of the villa; this had included the addition of an apsidal ended triclinium to the north wing. At least two constructional periods prior to this are suggested, but there is not yet sufficient evidence to establish their nature. Dating evidence for the beginning and end of the villa remains meagre but occupation appears to be at least as early as AD 200 and as late as 370. Further work is planned for 1969. (8)

An outline chronology for the Box Roman villa, including new
structural evidence, is provided by small-scale rescue
excavations and selective re-excavation, and the character of the
whole site is re-assessed. Aspects discussed include the
significance of a large apsidal room added to the villa in late
C3-4; the relationship between Box and neighbouring villas; and
the question of continuity into the post-Roman period. Further
information is also provided about the natural tufa deposit at
Box, together with evidence for possible Mesolithic, Neolithic
and Medieval occupation. (9,10)

Further references (11-14)

Scheduled. For the designation record of this site please see The National Heritage List for England. (15-16)

Roman villa at Box. It had at least 42 rooms, nearly half of which had mosaic floors. Windows were glazed and a large number of rooms had under-floor heating. The interior walls were plastered and decorated. One bath suite has been discovered and it is highly probable that at least one more remains to be located.
The north range and northern parts of two supporting ranges lie under the garden of 'The Wilderness', which stands on the site of a medieval mill and millrace. The southern part probably lies under the churchyard of St Thomas Becket Church. The east range is overbuilt by two late 19th century houses. Further buildings lie under the Selwyn Hall, the Vicarage, the Church , the Churchyard, Box House Cottage, Box House garden and Box House.
History of the investigations of the site began in the early 19th century, 1833 the vicar of Ditteridge, Rev George Mullins, wrote in a magazine that a tesselated pavement had been found in the garden of his house. Excavation continued from this date by several different individuals, mosaics were removed, many now lost. In 1902 and 3 Mr W Heward Bell financed investigations and employed Mr (later Sir) Harold Brakspear to record the excavations and prepare a report, published 1904 in WIltshire Archaeology magazine. Further work took place in 1967-8 by Henry Hurst. The most recent work was in 1982 a Roman ditch in the grounds of 'The Hermitage' and since then small scale archaeological watching briefs and evaluations. (17)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 19
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1
Source details : Grinsell, LV. Archaeological Gazetteer.
Page(s) : 44-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details : Site number WZ 29.
Page(s) : 198
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 12
Source : Wiltshire Times
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 13-Aug-82
Source Number : 13
Source : Wiltshire Times
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28-Oct-83
Source Number : 14
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 149-50
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 77, 1982
Source Number : 15
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Wiltshire - 22-Jul-1966 , amended 11-APR-2000
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 16
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage. 2013. ‘English Heritage: The National Heritage List for England’, < http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1019189 > [Accessed 21-MAR-2013]
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : The Roman Villa at Box
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : Brakspear, H.
Page(s) : 236FF
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 33, 1903-4
Source Number : 4
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 335
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 43, 1925-7
Source Number : 5
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : Brakspear, H.
Page(s) : 1FF
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 61, 1904
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 14-SEP-67
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Archaeological excavations
Source details : Ministry of Works/HR Hurst
Page(s) : 19, 20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1968
Source Number : 8
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 2
Source details : Cunliffe, BW
Page(s) : 463
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : HR Hurst et al.
Page(s) : 19-51
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 81, 1987
Source Number : 10
Source : Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani, Great Britain. Vol 1, fasc 2 : Bath and the rest of Wessex
Source details :
Page(s) : 30, 34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : AD 200-370
Monument End Date : 370
Monument Start Date : 200
Monument Type : Villa, Bath House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 301
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 833
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NAR Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 86 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : ST86NW301
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 30299
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1019189
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 86 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 207965
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1833-01-01
End Date : 1833-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1881-01-01
End Date : 1881-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1897-01-01
End Date : 1897-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1902-01-01
End Date : 1903-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 86 NW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-09-14
End Date : 1967-09-14
Associated Activities : THE WILDERNESS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1983-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH OF BOX CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : THE HERMITAGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : BOX ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : BOX HOUSE HOTEL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : BOX ROMAN VILLA, THE WILDERNESS
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : BOX VILLAGE HALL (ROMAN VILLA)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : BOX VICARAGE (PHASE 2)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT BOX HOUSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31