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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 84    1969  page 105
Excavations at Eccles Roman Villa, 1968: Seventh Interim Report.
By A. P. Detsicas, M.A., F.S.A. Scot

chain found in 1965 may be a pointer here), craftsmen, etc., very early in the life of the province; if so, this should mean that the owner of this estate was of considerable social importance and wealth. Only a person of this description, with obvious philo-Roman leanings, could wield sufficient influence to be cultivated by the Romans for their own purposes,28 and possess the wealth needed for the construction and appointments of the earliest house and baths—there can have been very few persons fitting this description in late Iron Age Britain, but it would be idle to speculate further on this point.
   The destruction by fire of the first baths29 seems to have brought about not only the building of a new bath-house30 but also some additions to the dwelling-house itself (Villa II, Period V, c.
A.D. 120-180); these consisted of the construction of the north-west wing of the villa, a small complex of servants' quarters, and the lengthening and reconstruction of the fronting corridor of the villa.
   The implication of a thriving establishment is further underlined in the next stage of reconstruction (Villa III, Period VI, c.
A.D. 180-290); a rear corridor was now added to the house, new servants' rooms and kitchens were built off the north corner of the building, a new and substantially larger bath-wing was erected 31 Certainly, this is not 'a period of decay'32 at Eccles as might be argued for other villas;33 and, if it can be accepted that the Lullingstone villa may have been confiscated as a result of its owner's involvement in the political upheavals of the period 34 one wonders why the Eccles villa seems to have escaped unscathed.
   Moreover, this continued prosperity of the estate was not affected by the troubled times of the fourth century
A.D. (Villa IV, Period VII, c. A.D. 290-400). The rear corridor was now partitioned into small rooms, a channelled hypocaust was inserted, other rooms were added;35 nor was the life of the villa apparently disturbed, let alone interrupted, by the upheavals of A.D. 367, if the coins in the hypocaust's furnace are taken into account. On the other hand, evidence is gradually accumulating that the centre of gravity of the villa's life may have shifted from the central range to the unexcavated south-east wing.
   The size of the villa, its early foundation and continued expansion
   28  It is not impossible that a military engineer was responsible for the building of this bath-house; Arch. Cant., lxxix (1964), 135.
   29 Arch. Cant. ,lixxx (1966), 85.
   30 Ibid., lxxx (1965), fig. 2.
   31 Ibid., lxxx (1965), fig. 2 and pp. 86-7.
   32 A. L. F. Rivet, Town and Country in Roman Britain, 1968, 108.
   33 At Lullingstone and, perhaps, at the Otford site; there is also a gap in the coin series at the Folkestone villa, but at a later date.
   34 S. S. Frere, op. cit., 275.
   35 The plan now recalls the Folkestone villa and, even more closely, the building at Farningham examined in recent years (JRS, xxxix (1949), 110),

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