Fabulous Roman mosaics revealed at Chedworth
Archaeologists returned this summer to Chedworth Roman Villa near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England for three weeks to explore what lay underneath parts of the villa, including areas that had never previously been explored. The team of National Trust archaeologists concentrated on the northern wing of the villa and uncovered some exciting new Roman mosaics.
This dig was the last of a five year programme to investigate the north range of the villa, aimed at understanding more about its original structure and use, and to see what condition the surviving archaeology is in. The work has helped the National Trust to guide decisions on how best to protect the ancient remains for the future.
The excavations were led by Martin Papworth and Nancy Grace of the National Trust’s SW division. Martin says: “During the last five years, excavations at Chedworth Roman Villa have given us a much better understanding of the way the villa was built and altered over time. We found remains of the villa that burnt down in the 2nd century and were wowed by a discovery of the great reception room mosaic.
“A hypocaust that was buried in the 4th century revealed evidence of the villa’s original decoration, including painted plaster and mosaics of the lost water features. We also found a piece of Cippolino marble that would have been a very expensive material used to furnish the villa and brought all the way from the Mediterranean. It has been an exciting dig over the years.”
Volunteers uncovering mosaic floors at Chedworth Roman Villa