have not completed the excavation of this, I shall
leave the description for some future paper. This hypocaust had
originally been divided by a cross wall, leaving the east part 11ft 2in.
square; the remains of this broken wall are seen on either side of the
hypocaust room, all the walls of which are built of yellow tiles, eleven
inches in length. The concrete bottom is laid under the blocks and
tiles. Beyond the first half the fire action had been most destructive
to the tiles, and this portion appears to have been paved with tesserae
of cubes of tile one inch or more square.
The cross flues, where they penetrated the south wall, had
been blocked up with masonry, and the soil above the debris of a fallen
floor was dark earth, in which was found Upchurch pottery, a coin of
Antoninus Pius with a hole bored through it as if to suspend it by, and
a minimus of Constantine. The evidences are in favour of its being used
by the Saxons, when the fire-flues were blocked up.
It will be impossible to say, from the portions of this
villa already excavated, of what size it is likely to prove. At present
we seem to have met only with the buildings
connected with the baths, and these are not of large
size, but we have not yet found the entrance, nor the atrium. The
buildings discovered appear to have been those at the north-eastern
extremity of the villa. Traces of walls some yards to the south are
indicated by the trial probe of iron, and foundations of walls are
discernible in the arable field some hundred yards or more south-east of
the present excavation. The bath with tessellated sides,* and the two
tessellated floored rooms adjoining, bespeak a villa of the better sort.
The situation is that usually selected by the Romans: a
spot sheltered from the east and north winds, and open to the
south-west. A beautiful spring of water, that of Wingham Well, runs
close by and turns a water-mill beyond. At Ickham, the adjoining parish,
and almost within sight of this spot, another Roman villa exists. It is
hoped that sufficient funds will be found to make a thorough exploration
of this villa.
* For an example of similar mural decoration, found near
Caistor,Mr. Roach Smith refers us to Artis's Durobrivę Identified.