Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Roman Villas in England

Romano-British Villas have often been compared to English stately homes of the eighteenth-century. Roman country residences, certainly many that were built in the 3rd or 4th centuries CE, were large, opulent and obviously the homes of wealthy and powerful individuals. The architecture and art in the villas were signs of the social importance of these individuals. These residences included such features as columns and balustrades and were extravagantly decorated with mosaic floors, wall-paintings and marble statuary. One of the earliest of these palatial villas can be seen just outside of Chichester. Not all the Romano-British villas were this palatial, the vast majority were much smaller homesteads that were more modestly decorated.

Romano-British Villas in England

Bignor Roman Villa

Situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park is Bignor Roman Villa. Amongst the features on display is one of the longest villa corridors in the UK, and only a third of it has been exposed; a dining room with a hypocaust floor; and some of the finest mosaics in England. The walls and mosaic floors of the Villa were discovered over 200 years ago and are still covered by the original Georgian buildings constructed to protect the mosaics; these unique buildings have their own historical significance.

Brading Roman Villa

In a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, Brading Roman Villa is one of the finest Romano-British sites in the UK with some of the best preserved mosaics in northern Europe. The villa was first a simple farmstead, but by the time it was destroyed by fire towards the end of the 3rd century it was an impressive villa surrounding three sides of a central courtyard. The main building of the villa is now entirely exposed and under the cover of an ward-wining and ecologically sensitive exhibition and visitor centre.