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NORTH LEIGH ROMAN VILLA

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The site of North Leigh Roman Villa, located within a loop of the River Evenlode. The villa was excavated in 1813-16 and again in 1910-11, and finds suggest that there were at least three phases of construction. Roman occupation on the site originated in the 1st or early 2nd century AD, when three buildings along the line of what became the north-west range were built. One of these was a bath house, and another structure served as a linking corridor. The main villa began as a winged-corridor building in the late second century AD. It was developed and extended to form a courtyard villa, and during the early third century AD some of the buildings on the north western and south western ranges were rebuilt and extended. Coin evidence, including a coin of Arcadius (AD 383-408), indicates that the villa was occupied up until the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century AD. The villa would have been quite luxurious as it included four bath suites and a large number of rooms containing plain tessellated or mosaic floors and under floor hypocaust heating.

The main courtyard villa building complex measures about 65 by 50 metres and it has three ranges of more than 60 rooms built on three sides of a courtyard. The fourth side is formed by a corridor in which the gateway was set. There were further ranges of buildings to the south west of the main complex, either side of a metalled driveway which led away from the gateway on the south eastern side of the courtyard. Aerial photography has also indicated the presence of workshops and other buildings extending over a large area on the west bank of the River Evenlode.

A mosaic floor (lifted and relaid in 1929) is today covered by shed built by the then owner, the Duke of Marlborough, following excavations between 1812 and 1814. A small custodian's cottage at the site may also date from the same period. The site is now in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.