Roman Villa 630m South West of Starveall Farm
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County Council (Unitary)
Swindon Borough Council
SE260260 (426001, 181628)
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The site of a Roman villa near Starveall Farm, Bishopstone. A tessellated pavement was uncovered during ploughing in 1880, but no record exists if subsequent investigation. Fragments of painted wall plaster, hypocaust tiles, potsherds and coins were also reported from the area in subsequent years. Trial trenching in the 1920s and 1930s relocated the site of the building. Aerial photography in 1969 revealed a series of ditched enclosures surrounding the area, and two areas were excavated in 1972. Three rooms and part of the yard of an intra-mural villa were found. Two of the rooms featured traces of mosaic floors, and one featured a channeled hypocaust. Building debris included much tile and wall plaster, plus mortared chalk and flint blocks. A rectangular building found by geophysical survey was confimed by small scale excavation. The pattern of ditches visible from the air indicates that the villa enclosure straddles the farm track and encloses a total area of 4.5 hectares. Iron Age sherds were also recovered during the excavations.The cropmark remains of a sub-rectangular enclosure at this location and further cropmarks of fragmented encolsures and ditches to the north-east were mapped from aerial photographs.
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