walls, was floored
with a thin layer of white mortar, 2 in. thick, compacted upon the
Romano-British topsoil. A channel, for a wooden pipe with some
iron collars still in situ, had been cut through
this topsoil from the north corner of the room; it led through the
walls at the south corner of the room towards the main drain
immediately outside the south-east wall of the room. A burial was
inserted in this room close to the east corner; probably a male,
it was fully extended on its back, except for the head which, at
right angles to the body, was resting against the south-east wall
of the room. No grave goods were recovered, and it is by no means
certain that it is a Romano-British burial belonging to a later
stage in the villa's history.
Another burial was found inserted in the area
immediately outside the south-east wall of Room 34 beyond the
drain (Section K-L: Layer 4), but very
little can be said of this as only the lower part of the skeleton
was exposed within the excavated area; it would appear, however,
that this burial, too, was interred in a position similar to that
of the burial inside Room 34.
Room 35 (20 by 9 ft.) is largely
inferred, and its north-east wall was completely robbed.16
It was floored with the same compacted layer of white mortar laid
directly upon the Romano-British topsoil. The area immediately
outside the robbed north-east wall contained a very solid
aggregate of ragstone and yellow mortar to a thickness of some 2
ft. over the subsoil, which showed signs of heavy oxidation and
probably denotes an industrial working surface of Period III.
Room 36 (12 by 11 ft.) contained much painted
wall-plaster debris and rubble upon the same white mortar floor.
The presence of these floors of white mortar16
laid down over the Romano-British topsoil in Rooms 33-36 and
underneath the tessellated pavement in Room 37 clearly suggests
that Room 37 was re-floored with its tessellated pavement in a
later phase, but no floors were found in Rooms 33-36, which could
be contemporary with the tessellation. A probable explanation may
be that the corridor required re-flooring because of its heavy use
whereas the mortar floors in Rooms 33-36 may have remained in good
repair and quite suitable for their use in rooms, which could be
considered as servants' quarters at the extreme northwest end of
the villa; alternatively, it may be thought that even Rooms 33-36
were re-floored at the same time as Room 37, but with a less
durable material than the opus signinum bed of the
tessellation, which would not have survived under the slight depth
of topsoil in this area.
A drain was exposed outside the south-east walls of
Rooms 33, 34 and 36, which has been traced below the pavement of
Room 37 and
15 The south-east wall of
this room was confirmed in 1964.
16 These floors of white mortar could be
the under-base for timber floors. I owe this suggestion to
Professor Sir Ian Richmond, P.S.A.