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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 470246

Hob Uid: 470246
Location :
East Sussex
Eastbourne
Eastbourne
Grid Ref : TV6180099000
Summary : Site of a Roman corridor villa discovered in 1712 when a bath house was discovered with tesselated floors.
More information : Roman villa site found at Eastbourne at a point immediately to the west of "Sea Houses" and a short distance south east of Trinity Church, at the back of the sea-wall. Foundations of a large corridor extending in a northerly direction to a distance of 200 feet, into a field, well known as the site of a Roman bath, discovered 1717. During excavations were found:- Roman coins, bones and horns of animals, flint celt, several tiles of red earth, roof tiles and bricks, bronze buckle, fragments of Roman pottery, pieces of mortar compounded in the Roman manner. (1)

Roman Villa - an amphora handle in Lewes Museum (Church and name "Trinity Place" at TV 61459886). (2)

Site of baths found 1717, "that part of Eastbourne which used to be designated 'the Susans' but which ... is now called 'the Elms'" (Names 'Elms Avenue' and 'Elms Road' TV61609892). (3)

(Villa at TV61769893, Bath House at TV61749908) Eastbourne:
i: This building was discovered in 1712 and described by Dr Tabor in a paper in 1717. On a site at the back of New Hall, between Cavendish Place and Queen's Gardens, Dr Tabor found a white tessellated pavement with a double line of red and brown tiles. It lay nearly E and W measuring 17'4" x 11' and its position was 170 yds from the present (1934) high-water mark. A bath N of it, 16' x 5'9" deep, was approached by a landing and two steps. The bottom of the bath was 5' below the tessellated pavement and was filled with ashes and wood; part of a burnt human skull and burnt bones lay loose, as if the person had perished in the flames. Foundations extended in all directions round the pavement. The objects discovered included large iron nails, 'hinge-hooks' and fragments of various kinds of pottery. A piece of the pavement and a flue tile are in Eastbourne Museum. (Sited from sketch-map at "A" - Bath House).
ii: Pier (or Burlington Hotel) site. These buildings are nearly 300' from the last described. Foundations in the cliff were examined in 1848 and were composed of greensand rock from the Eastbourne quarries. They consist (?-ed) of some large rooms, one 30' long, and a corridor 13' wide (interior) which extended from the cliff NNE for about 225'. The villa frontage faced ESE and was a little distance from the sea. The corridor was paved with tesserae of tile and cream-coloured stone. Among the objects found were one or two coins, much corroded, bones and horns of animals, a flint celt, tiles 'with patterns', roof tiles, a bronze buckle, various coarse pottery, and Samian ware, figured and bearing potters' stamps (flue-pipe, brick, tile &c in Eastbourne Museum) (Sited from sketch map at "B" - the Villa).
Between (i) and (ii) bases of two columns were found in 1853 (Sited from Sketch Map at "C"). (4)

Very few relics from this villa now exist, most having been destroyed by enemy action to Eastbourne Museum in 1943. A flue-tile from the villa which had formed part of a rockery at The Greys, an 18th c house in Borough Lane, has recently been presented to Lewes Museum. (5)

The villa site can only be positioned from Budgen's plan as the area is now completely developed. The finds from the site have either been dispersed or destroyed. (6)

EA 9 Listed as the site of a Roman villa. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : 1848 (M A Lower)
Page(s) : 257-8
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roman Villas App VI
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Source Number : 7
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 58
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Plates :
Vol(s) : no.1
Source Number : 8
Source : The Eastbourne Roman Villa
Source details :
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Source Number : 2a
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Sussex: volume three
Source details :
Page(s) : 24
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Source Number : 2b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Phil Soc Trans (1717) pp351, 549
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Source Number : 3
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details :
Page(s) : 308
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Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 4c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Tabor: Phil Tr No 351 549
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Source Number : 4d
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Trans Eastbourne NHS (1886)
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Source Number : 4e
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : (plan) Trans Eastbourne NHS 86-90 (1917) (W Budgen)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : 1951-2 photos of orig 18th c sketches (Thos Sutton)
Page(s) : 01-Dec
Figs. :
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Vol(s) : 90
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 PAS 01-MAY-73
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Bath House, Villa
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : AXE
Object Material :
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Bath House, Villa
Object Type : TESSERA
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TV 69 NW 9
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : THE ELMS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1717-01-01
End Date : 1717-12-31
Associated Activities : THE ELMS/SEAHOUSES AND TRINITY CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1848-01-01
End Date : 1848-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON TV 69 NW 9
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-05-01
End Date : 1973-05-01