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LULLINGSTONE ROMAN VILLA

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The site of a Roman villa, built in about 100 AD, with later phases of extensive rebuilding, expansion and remodelling. The site is particularly important for evidence of early Christianity. The first villa consisted of a large winged house originally built of wattle and daub on flint footings, constructed circa 100 AD. It was rebuilt and expanded in stone in the second half of the second century. A point of interest for this phase is that finds from the site may suggest that the house could have been associated with Publius Helvius Pertinax, goveneror of Britain AD185-6 and briefly emperor in AD 193. Between 200-275 AD the kitchen, found at the rear, was converted into a tannery. North of the main building are the remains of a mausoleum built in the early 4th century and incorporated into a late Saxon church. Further north are the remains of a circular building. Between the villa and the river are the remains of a courtyard and on its north side the remains of a granary were excavated. The north side of the villa was remodelled sometime between 275 and 350 AD. From circa 360 AD the large apsed dining room was built and the north rooms were converted into a Christian chapel; pagan worship may have continued in a room below this. The house-chapel contains a set of wall paintings with clear Christian symbolism, which is unique in the context of a Roman villa from Britain. The villa was apparently abandoned after a fire during the 5th century- possibly around 420, though because of the lack of coin evidence it is hard to be certain. This site is an English Heritage property.

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