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Historic England Research Records

Combley Roman Villa

Hob Uid: 461298
Location :
Isle Of Wight
Isle Of Wight
Grid Ref : SZ5380087870
Summary : Roman villa, excavated in 1910 and between 1968-76, features include a bath house an aisled building and a courtyard. A Dolphin Mosaic was found in the Bath House
More information : ('A'-SZ 53868791) Roman Villa partly excavated 1910.
('B'-SZ 54288795) Roman pottery found in the garden of Combley Farm. Note by A.G. Sherwin) (1)

'Morgan's Close', a large field on Combley Farm, contains two Ro. sites, one near its centre and the other ('A') next to Saltmoor Copse. There are other Ro. sites in 'Gritten's Field' and 'Bennett's Rock'. There are earthen mounds in Saltmoor Copse. (2)

A probable late 3rd c. Ro. villa of winged corridor type was excavated (at 'A') by J.W. Fleming in 1910. The excavation was not published but a plan and a bare account of the rooms survive. (3)

Photostat of original plan in A.O. Archives No. 2088. (4)

The present farmer and grandson of the excavator, Mr. Fleming, retains a copy of the original plan and the bare account noted by Sydenham. The plan gives measurements from the E. side of the doorway s. of Room II to the two N.corners of Saltmoor Copse. These measurements place the site of the villa at SZ 53808787 where there is a heavy scatter of debris. The plan also shows two small sections of walling at SZ 53818781, in Saltmoor Copse, but these could not be traced in dense undergrowth but are probably the "earthen mounds" noted by Lockhart. Mr. Fleming knew of no other Ro. finds on his land but he was able to indicate Bennetts Rock as the field centred at SZ 53768822 and Grittens Field at SZ 54708806, neither of which showed features of any significance. (5)

The Roman villa site is about to be re-excavated. (6)

Re-excavation started in the summer of 1970 when about half the villa was uncovered by a Mr Fernerly of Sandown, who is continuing his dig this season. The complete plan is not yet exposed. The interior was apparently mostly destroyed in the 1910 excavation. (7)

A small portion of the villa, including a fragment of mosaic pavement, is at present exposed to view. It forms an attraction at "Robin Hill" - a wildlife park, open to the public. (8)

The villa was re-excavated by L. R. Fennelly between 1968 and 1975, the main structures being a bath-house and an aisled building linked by a corridor and comprising 45m. of the north side of a courtyard. A dolphin mosaic floor was found in the bath-house, but few finds were made on the site, these consisted of six coins dated 250-350 and a very worn Hadrianic Sestercius. Both buildings had walls set into the water-table and it seems likely that they were abandoned because of flooding. (9-11)

A mass of rubble outside the east courtyard wall, probably representing a collapsed building, was observed in a modern drainage-ditch. A second ditch exposed the footings of a wall which appears to post-date the villa, since it ran over the top of the courtyard wall and is on an alignment different from any of the villa buildings. (12)

Scheduled; number 38. (13)

IW 8 Listed as the site of a Roman villa. (14)

Description of the mosaic. (15)

The presence of brick and tiles wasters suggests te existence of a tilery at or near the villa. (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Corr. 6" (J.E. Bartlett May 1951)
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Guide to the I.O.W. 1870 p44 (G.S.M. Lockhart)
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 7 1976 pp364-6 plan
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 11 1980 p393 (H W Basford)
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Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE(IAM) AM Record Form June'80
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Source Number : 14
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 102
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Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 15
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Neale DS, 1981. Roman Mosaics in Britain, 53, 74-5,81,87
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Source Number : 16
Source : The pottery kilns of Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 350
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Vol(s) : 5
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Isle of Wight Nat Hist Archaeol Soc 3 pt.7 1944 pp426-9 plan (E.A. Sydenham)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R1 FGA 19-SEP-67
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FGA 19-SEP-67
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Letter (J.W. Fleming 14.8.68)
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 PAS 13-APR-71
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 DJC 30-JUN-71
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Proc Isle of Wight Nat Hist Archaeol Soc 6 pp271-282, 420-430 (Fennelly L)
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 5 1974 p456
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 499
Monument Start Date : 300
Monument Type : Villa, Mosaic, Bath House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : IW 38
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Isle of Wight)
External Cross Reference Number : 883
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 22031
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SZ 58 NW 21
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : COMBLEY VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1800-01-01
End Date : 1899-12-31
Associated Activities : COMBLEY VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1910-01-01
End Date : 1911-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SZ 58 NW 21
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-09-19
End Date : 1967-09-19
Associated Activities : COMBLEY VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : COMBLEY VILLA
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31