OSMap: LR163
Type: Villa

Roads
Possible Road: N (29) to Droitwich (Droitwich Spa, Hereford & Worcester)
Probable Road: S (16) to Corinivm (Cirencester, Gloucestershire)

The Roman Villa at Wadfield

Like the neighbouring villa at Spoonley Wood, the villa at Wadfield was built from small, roughly-squared blocks of oolite held together with poor-quality mortar made from lime produced from the same stone which was, unfortunately, very susceptible to decay. [These blocks were laid in 'herringbone' fashion, with the stones laid in alternating slanting courses. ????] The villa is built on a slight slope and as a consequence the floors in the rooms are at differing levels with inter-cubicula access via a series of steps. (Liversidge, pp.255, 260)

Several fragments of decorative statuary suggesting a high level of Romanization were recovered from the Wadfield site during excavations by E. Dent in 1863 and published in the Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley of 1877. (Rivet, p.154) The site was further investigated in 1895 and the results recorded in the very first volume of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association which was published later that same year. These investigations revealed the presence of a bath-house and at least one inhumation burial. (AHDS)

A short site update was published in the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Transactions (LV, 1933, p.336), but no details are known. (Ref. in Liversidge)

The most recent activity in the area was in 1968. A watching brief conducted by the Gloucester and District Archaeology Research Group during the laying of a gas pipeline across the site uncovered a Roman rubbish pit, the findings from which were reported in their Annual Review of the following year, while excavations outside the scheduled National Monument area conducted by the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society were published in their Transactions in 1971. Finds recovered during the BGAS operations were lodged at the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. (AHDS)

The Belas Knap Long Barrow

Just to the south of the villa site a Neolithic Chambered Long Barrow at Belas Knap (SP0225) was excavated by Winterbotham during 1863-4 and by Chamberlayne in 1865, at the same time as the first investigations on the site of the Roman villa. Reports were published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London (III, 1964-7, pp.275-80), while all finds were lodged at the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. Further excavations were carried out by the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society during 1929-1930 and reported in their Transactions (LI, 1929, pp.273-304; LII, 193O, pp.123-50). (AHDS)

Online References

http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-633572
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-633573
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-633574
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-653349
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=NMR_NATINV-327832
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-633569
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/fr.cfm?rcn=EHNMR-633570

Literary References

Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (London 1968);
The Roman Villa in Britain ed. by A.L.F. Rivet (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1969);