Great Witcombe Roman Villa

Great Witcombe Roman Villa


Great Witcombe Roman Villa

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Great Witcombe Roman Villa was a villa built during the Roman occupation of Britain. It is located on a hillside at Great Witcombe, near Gloucester in the English county of Gloucestershire.


The Roman villa at Great Witcombe is thought to have been built during the first century AD, and was probably occupied until the fifth century AD. These date ranges are largely based upon coins found during excavations of the site (Clifford 1954, p. 25).The villa itself is sited in an unusual location – the unevenness of the terrain, which was riddled with small streams and natural springs, would seem to render it unsuitable for such a large dwelling. It is thought, however, that these springs would have been harnessed into water features in stylised gardens, and that a cult of water nymphs may have been cultivated around this, although this is supposition (de la Bedoyere 2002, p. 57). To cope with the difficult terrain, the building itself was constructed on four terraces, cut into the hillside and heavily buttressed, which are still evident on the gallery connecting the two main wings of the house. The architectural design of the villa differs greatly from similar dwellings from the same period, given that the main living quarters were in the large eastern wing, and a long gallery of little function connected this wing with the ‘leisure wing’ where the bath house and temple were located. This layout reflects the evolution of the house over time—the...
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