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Historic England Research Records

Spoonley Wood Roman Villa

Hob Uid: 327838
Location :
Grid Ref : SP0450025680
Summary : Site of a Roman villa discovered and excavated in 1882. Mosaics recovered from the villa were removed and taken to Sudeley Castle. A basilican-type building was interpreted as being a granary or barn. Finds included a silver-plated bowl, coins, pottery and a marble statue of Bacchus.
More information : (SP 04502568) ROMAN VILLA (AT) (Remains of) (1)

The Spoonley Wood Roman villa was discovered and excavated in 1882. It measured 170 ft by 190 ft and was a good example of a courtyard villa (see plan from (2)). The best preserved mosaics had huts erected over them after the excavation but these mosaics were later removed (possibly to Sudeley Castle) and modern mosaics substituted. The huts had become ruinous by 1945 (3). The remains of a basilican-type building thought to be a barn or granary were found 50 or 60 ft away to the NW of the villa. It measured
54 ft by 34 ft 4 ins., according to Prof Middleton (2) but Mrs O'Neil describes it as 60 ft by 40 ft with an annexe 21 ft wide
on the west side. About 60 ft to the east of the villa a substantial bank and ditch, possibly defensive, ran from a stream on the north
along the back of the villa and round the SE corner. At the junction of the two streams that run on either side of the villa
are the remains of stone revetting, and it seems probable that the road to the villa ran in this direction (3). Finds included a
silver-plated bronze bowl, coins from Tetricus to Constantine (2) and a marble statue of Bacchus, from a grave, now in the British
Museum (4). (2-4)

The villa is situated in woodland on a gentle NW-facing slope but all the walls are clearly visible, most of them being only 0.4m
high although two of the buildings stand to 1.7m.

The "basilican type" building 20.0m to the west at SP 04452571 measures 16.0m east to west by 10.3m north to south internally.
The foundations of an adjoining annex at the west end can just be seen. To the east of the villa the"substantial ditch" is 0.5m deep
and it appears to be a drainage hood. Nothing could be seen of the stone revetting although it is likely to be overgrown. Published
1:2500 survey revised. (5)

SP045257 Spoonley Wood is a valley bottom site occupying a spit of ground which slopes very gently westwards. The walls were partially rebuilt, up to 6ft high in places on the east and south, and a reconstructed mosaic pvement, formerly covered by a wooden shed in rooms 8 and 18 is now exposed to weathering, following the collapse of the roof. The walls of the villa are made from local stone. Finds included a large number of 3rd and 4th century coins, including Samian Ware, iron knives and tools. Most of the finds are at Sudeley Castle. A column base is in Gloucester Museum and 3 pottery lamps are in Cheltenham Museum. (6)

The plan of the site shows buildings on three sides of a courtyard with a bath suite on the south, living quarters on the east and its main reception room in the centre opposite an entrance. Outside the courtyard to the west lies an aisled building (7)

The aisled building dimensions were around 16.42 m x 10.47 m = 3:2 but the building extended further west (8)

Marble statue found in a grave near Spoonley Wood illustrated (9)

This site is obscured by the trees of Spoonley Wood. (11).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1954
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : (Prof J H Middleton)
Page(s) : 651-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52 Pt 2, 1890
Source Number : 11
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society
Source details : (H E O'Neil)
Page(s) : 162-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 71, 1952
Source Number : 4
Source : Guide to the antiquities of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 55
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DRB 07-MAY-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Ancient and historical monuments in the County of Gloucester. Volume one: Iron Age and Romano-British monuments in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds
Source details :
Page(s) : 113-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1976
Source Number : 7
Source : Roman Gloucestershire
Source details :
Page(s) : 94-96
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : British Archaeological Report (BAR) British series
Source details :
Page(s) : 140, 198
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 70, 1979
Source Number : 9
Source : Religion in Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 176
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details : GS 96
Page(s) : 76
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.1

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Villa, Granary, Barn, Mosaic, Statue
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Villa, Granary, Barn, Mosaic, Statue
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Marble, Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Gloucestershire)
External Cross Reference Number : 43
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : GC 128
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 02 NW 18
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : SPOONLEY WOOD ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1882-01-01
End Date : 1882-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 02 NW 18
Start Date : 1974-05-07
End Date : 1974-05-07
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31