Chedworth Roman Villa
The Cotswold is real Farming Country, flowing estates of arable crops dotted with sheep and cattle. But it has also become the mecca of ” Second Homes” ..the must be location for Celebrities, Broadcasters, Bankers and Politicians rich enough to climb the social ladder.
But this is nothing new. The Romans started the fashion of second homes just like here at Chedworth, a particularly large Roman Villa.
A chance discovery of floor tiles…. “tesserae” in 1864, together with a substantial amount of money and time by Lord Eldon resulted in the excavation of the foundations of a this large villa complex. There are some mosaic floors (now well protected from the weather), Bath Houses, living and entertaining quarters for the Roman Noble, his family and of course his supporting staff. Life was luxurious compared with the ‘Brits’ of the forth century. Underfloor heating…hypocaust in the main villa and bath houses helped.
Why build here. well its surrounded by trees in a wooded valley but perhaps it was the natural spring which the Romans revered as a Nymphaeum and a place to be worshiped.
Now before well explore the site let me explain. The Villa that is rather Tudor like only dates back to the late 1800’s. It was built by Eldon to house artefacts discovered during the excavations and today it is still a museum.
A chance find beneath these English meadows and an insight into 4th century Roman Life…. and proving there is nothing new in life
(C) David Oakes 2018