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Historic England Research Records

Castle Copse Roman Villa

Hob Uid: 224845
Location :
Wiltshire
Great Bedwyn
Grid Ref : SU2835062950
Summary : Site of a large Roman courtyard villa at Castle Copse. Probably discovered circa 1780, partial excavations were undertaken in 1853-4 by WC Lukis, and again in 1936-7 by ER Pole and the Paddington Great Western Railway Archaeological Society. The most recent excavations were the most extensive, and were undertaken by Indiana University between 1983 and 1986. The earliest activity appears to be represented by ditches and post hole structures of early Roman date. There is also evidence for some building in the early 5th century AD, although it was not possible to establish the duration of this phase. The 1983-86 excavations have been published in full.
More information : (SU 283456295) Roman Villa (R) (Site of). (1)

Brail Wood villa, SU 28356295, discovered circa 1780, partially
excavated by W C Lukis in 1853-4 and E R Pole in 1936.
Structural remains brought to light consisted of two small areas
of tessellated pavement, slabs of colite, a mortar floor and a
large lead cistern. Small finds included a gold finger-ring,
bronze spoon and bracelet, four bronze rings, 1st cent. pottery
and New Forest and rosette-stamped ware. (2)

The remains of a villa discovered about 80 years ago, with
valuable specimens of tessellated pavement, foundations of
brick-work and a massive lead cisten. Several pavements were
discovered near the same spot in 1853. (3)

Excavations in 1936 and 1937 were hampered by tree roots dense
vegetation and previous disturbances, but two areas of
tessellated pavements were found, and in one place a bed of
mortar assumed to be the base of a tessellated pavement was
found to overlie another level bed of mortar, suggesting the
existence of an earlier building on the same site. Tesserae and
broken roof-tiles of red earthenware and pennant stone were
scattered all over the site. Of the pottery found, most was 3rd
or 4th century, and there was nothing that needed to be earlier
than the latter part of the 2nd century. (4)

The excavation site is traceable as numerous amorphous pits and
mound but there are no visible surveyable remains of the villa.
Two limestone blocks and many Roman sherds were found during
field investigation. OS siting accepted. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
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) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : Ward, J
Page(s) : 261-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1859-60
Source Number : 4
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : Warren, FC
Page(s) : 318-20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48, 1937-9
Source Number : 4a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : CFC Hawkes
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 01-JUL-73
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details : Site number WZ 88.
Page(s) : 202
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 7
Source : The Romano-British villa at Castle-Copse, Great Bedwyn
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Villa, Ditch, Mosaic
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Building
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SU26SE304
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 916
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 26 SE 8
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE COPSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1853-01-01
End Date : 1854-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE COPSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1936-01-01
End Date : 1937-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 26 SE 8
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-07-01
End Date : 1973-07-01
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE COPSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE COPSE, GREAT BEDWYN
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31