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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 79    1964  pages 135

Excavations at Eccles, 1963: Second Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

definitely military style of planning in the earliest and gradual elaboration, increase in size and civilian style of architecture of the succeeding buildings. Another salient feature is that, far from expanding from modest beginnings to a larger establishment, as in other villas, this villa appears to have been built on a palatial scale from the very outset. For, while little is so far known of the first bath building and its villa, there is enough to indicate that it was larger than normal; and this of course, applies even more to its successors and, in particular, to the baths of Period III.
   The large size and the provision of so many heated rooms, implying expenditure of capital and use of labour on a large scale, suggest initial building probably by a philo-Roman Romano-British noble,23 who may have sought to model his way of living on Roman prototypes soon after the Roman conquest of Britain. A suggestion made earlier24 that this villa may have been at the centre of several smaller houses without their own bath-houses, whose occupants would be permitted to use the central baths, is still a valid possibility.
   Alternatively, the plan of the earliest bath building might suggest a military connection, but no direct or indirect evidence has been found pointing to military occupation of the site; the only items possibly identifiable as military equipment are two bronze pieces from a harness and these could just as well have been in civilian use. Again, only the earliest bath building, with its laconicum projecting beyond the main line of the baths and its standardized arrangement of rooms, recalls military planning, and this could be due to no more than its designer having served as a military engineer, or to the probability that a first-century bath building follows first-century models and fashions.23 Whatever the meaning of the military affinities apparent in this early bath building, they certainly disappeared in its successors, while the size of the buildings increased. No doubt this denotes increased prosperity and a bigger estate.
   23  I owe this suggestion to Professor S. S. Frere, V-P.S.A.
   24 Arch. Cant., lxxviii (1963), 141.

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