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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 416441

Hob Uid: 416441
Location :
Kent
Tonbridge and Malling
Aylesford
Grid Ref : TQ7210060610
Summary : Site of an extensive Roman villa at Eccles on the east bank of the Medway. It dates from circa 65 AD and was built on a palatial scale consisting at first of a strip house of ten or more rooms and a verandah accompanied by a large bath building with mosaics. Certain features are associated with military architecture. Ownership by a local philo-Roman magnate or government official has been suggested. The first house was replaced by another with marked civilian characteristics and a third followed on a more grandiose scale. Between 150 and 290 AD a cold plunge bath large enough to serve as a swimming pool was added. The final major reconstruction involved re-orientation of the house to face south west and it gave it the shape of a building consisting of a main range of rooms with two projecting wings enclosing an inner courtyard. From several points of view this is one of the most important villas in Britain.
More information : TQ 7210 6061: Roman Building (R) (site of) (NAT) (1)

Centred TQ 7216 6054: Extensive villa at Eccles, TQ 722 605, on the east bank of the Medway, excavated by AP Detsicas from 1963-1976. It dates from circa AD 65 and was built on a palatial scale from the very beginning, consisting at first of a strip house of ten or more rooms (three tessellated) and a verandah. It was however accompanied by a large and sumptuous bath building with mosaics strongly reminiscent of Fishbourne (SU 80 SW 5). Certain features such as the circular laconium are thought to betray the influence of military architecture. The discovery of large-scale pottery manufacture in the immediate post-conquest period (TQ 76 SW 36) suggests the probability of industrial installations such as workshops, stores and wharves along the Medway and is taken by Detsicas to indicate ownership by a local philo-Roman magnate, although alternatively it is suggested to have been the home of a government official. The first house which may prove to have been far grander than present evidence suggests was replaced by another with marked civilian characteristics and a third followed on a more grandiose scale; these being merely the earliest phases in a long and complicated history. Between 150 and 290 AD the villa was given the added luxury of a cold plunge bath large enough to serve as a swimming pool. The final major reconstruction involved re-orientation of the house to face south west and it gave it the shape of a building consisting of a main range of rooms with two projecting wings enclosing an inner courtyard. From several points of view this is one of the most important villas in Britain. The pre-villa occupation of the site was not fully traced and the Romano British cemetery was not located. (2-18)

The length of the house at Eccles, which extended to circa 111.75 metres overall in the period circa 120 to 180 AD and circa 124 metres thereafter, is exceptional in Britain but not so on the continent (19). The villa begins as a striphouse with corridor, about the year 65. It has 12 rooms, 5 with mosaic pavements and probably a second storey. There are 3 bipartite suites. About 55 years later a projecting wing was added comprising 5 rooms. 60 years later another wing with new rooms was erected and a further wing with hypocaust added, both together comprising 7 rooms (20). (19-20)

Late Roman defixio from Eccles villa. (21)

Possible pottery lamps from ditch X at Eccles. (22)

Knife handle and 3rd century pottery found in 1974, immediately outside the north east area of the villa. (23)

TQ 722 606: Three British inscribed coins from Eccles Roman Villa. (24)

Mosaic from Roman Villa at Eccles. (25)

TQ 722 605: Corn Drier from Eccles Roman Villa. (26)

Additional bibliography. (27)

KE 6 Listed as the site of a Roman villa. (28)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1968
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1963
Page(s) : 125-41
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 78
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1972
Page(s) : 101-110
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 87
Source Number : 12
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1973
Page(s) : 37-80
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 88
Source Number : 13
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (A Detsicas) 1973
Page(s) : 119-34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 89
Source Number : 14
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1975
Page(s) : 41-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 91
Source Number : 15
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1976
Page(s) : 157-63
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 92
Source Number : 16
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1977
Page(s) : 55-59
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 93
Source Number : 17
Source : Current archaeology
Source details : (D Johnston) 1969-70
Page(s) : 286
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 18
Source : South east England
Source details : 1970 (R Jessup)
Page(s) : 187-88
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 69
Source Number : 19
Source : Studies in the Romano-British villa
Source details :
Page(s) : 121, 200-1
Figs. : 53
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 20
Source : The Romano-British countryside : studies in rural settlement and economy
Source details :
Page(s) : 442, 444
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 103(i-ii)
Source Number : 3
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1964
Page(s) : 121-35
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 79
Source Number : 21
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (RSO Tomlin) 1985
Page(s) : 19-25
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 102
Source Number : 22
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1974
Page(s) : 305-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 54
Source Number : 23
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1975
Page(s) : 406, 407
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 55
Source Number : 24
Source : Supplementary gazetteer of find-spots of Celtic coins in Britain, 1977
Source details :
Page(s) : 77
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 11a
Source Number : 25
Source : Roman mosaics in Britain : an introduction to their schemes and a catalogue of paintings
Source details :
Page(s) : 76
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 26
Source : Agricultural buildings in Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 104-5, 114
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 70
Source Number : 27
Source : Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 113
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 28
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 103
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 29
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 05-Oct-98
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1965
Page(s) : 69-91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 80
Source Number : 5
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1966
Page(s) : 44-52
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 81
Source Number : 6
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1967
Page(s) : 162-78
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 82
Source Number : 7
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1968
Page(s) : 39-48
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 83
Source Number : 8
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1969
Page(s) : 93-106
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 84
Source Number : 9
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1970
Page(s) : 55-60
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 85
Source Number : 10
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : (AP Detsicas) 1971
Page(s) : 25-34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 86

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, Bath House, Mosaic, Hypocaust, Findspot, Corn Drying Oven
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : COIN
Object Material :
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Villa, Bath House, Mosaic, Hypocaust, Findspot, Corn Drying Oven
Object Type : LAMP, VESSEL, COIN, CURSE TABLET
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 25471
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 76 SW 10
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 416521
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 416524
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ROWE PLACE FARM, ECCLES
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ECCLES
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ECCLES ROMAN VILLA
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31