KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 84    1969  page 104
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1968: Seventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

and opus signinum quarter-round moulding were preserved intact along the whole course of their abutment on the north-east wall. Obviously, a doorway and, perhaps, a step into the apse must have existed through the wall at the north corner of Room 101, but robbing has removed all direct evidence.

   Once more all the evidence recovered in this season of work has confirmed the provisional dating sequence proposed in earlier reports. On the other hand, the recovery in sealed deposits in Rooms 95 and 96 of coins and pottery enables the closing date of Period VII to be established at about the beginning of the fifth century A.D., rather than the previous suggestion of merely post A.D. 290.

Summary and Discussion
After seven years' work at this large site, it is now possible to attempt a tentative summary and evaluation of the history of the villa (Fig. 2).22
The original house (Villa I, Period IV, c. A.D. 65-120) consists, at present, of at least six rooms, three of which were certainly laid with tessellated floors, ranged behind a fronting corridor; clearly, this is still only part of the villa's earliest plan, but it now looks probable that it did not possess any wings and recalls in its essentials town strip-houses and other villas,23 though it is likely to have been larger and was certainly built earlier than most other villas. The bath-house belonging to this first dwelling-house has already been fully examined and described;24 both its size and furnishings require a comparable degree of Romanisation in the house itself which should be established when the whole villa is fully excavated. Villa I and its baths form a substantial establishment, showing that 'exceptional Romanisation was active in this area',25 within a generation of the Roman conquest; the influence of military baths on the architecture of the Eccles first baths has already been referred to.26 Apart from the implications that this raises, the size of the baths is inordinately large for the occupants of the villa and their attendants alone; certainly these baths could act as 'some sort of social focus'27 for the estate workers and, probably, others in the neighbourhood. This, however, implies organized large-scale farming, i.e. a large farming community, bailiffs, slaves (a length of
   22 The pre-Roman occupation of the site is still incompletely explored.
   23 E.g. Lockleys, Park Street, Frocester Court, etc.
   24 Arch. Cant, lxxx (1965), 71-85; for its relationship to the villa, ibid., lxxxiii (1968), fig. 1.
   25 S. S. Frere, Britannia, 1967, 269-70.
   26 Arch. Cant., lxxix (1964), lxxx (1965), 89.
    2? S. S. Frere, op. ext., 270.

Previous page       Back to Page listings        Next page

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society click here

Back to Contents Page     To Arch. Cant. List      To Publications On-line      To Research Page      To Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society 23rd December 2012

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received
so that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too