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Roman villa north east of Cottage Coppice

A Scheduled Monument in Much Wenlock, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6041 / 52°36'14"N

Longitude: -2.5831 / 2°34'59"W

OS Eastings: 360608.544591

OS Northings: 300863.240927

OS Grid: SJ606008

Mapcode National: GBR BR.92S8

Mapcode Global: WH9DF.9S6Z

Entry Name: Roman villa NE of Cottage Coppice

Scheduled Date: 27 August 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002934

English Heritage Legacy ID: SA 206

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Much Wenlock

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Harley

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Summary

Minor Romano-British villa 660m south-east of Harley Bridge.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 June 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a minor Romano-British villa situated on gently sloping north west facing ground at the foot of the Wenlock Edge scarp between two tributaries to the Harley Brook. The villa known locally as ‘Yarchester Roman villa’ survives as a pronounced earthwork platform in the area between the two streams. The subject of many excavations from 1955-62, the villa has at least five rooms arranged around a courtyard with two rooms known to contain mosaic pavements. The villa was apparently occupied from around 200 AD to the mid-4th century. Other finds have included wall plaster, roof tile and pottery.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Romano-British villas were extensive rural estates with groups of domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings at their focus. The term "villa" is now commonly used to describe either the estate or the buildings themselves. The buildings usually include a well-appointed dwelling house, the design of which varies considerably according to the needs, taste and prosperity of the occupier. Most of the houses were partly or wholly stone-built, many with a timber-framed superstructure on masonry footings. Roofs were generally tiled and the house could feature tiled or mosaic floors, under-floor heating, wall plaster, glazed windows and cellars. Many had integral or separate suites of heated baths. The house was usually accompanied by a range of buildings providing accommodation for farm labourers, workshops and storage for agricultural produce. These were arranged around or alongside a courtyard and were surrounded by a complex of paddocks, pens, yards and features such as vegetable plots, granaries, threshing floors, wells and hearths, all approached by tracks leading from the surrounding fields. Villa buildings were constructed throughout the period of Roman occupation, from the first to the fourth centuries AD. They are usually complex structures occupied over several hundred years and continually remodelled to fit changing circumstances. They could serve a wide variety of uses alongside agricultural activities, including administrative, recreational and craft functions, and this is reflected in the considerable diversity in their plan. The least elaborate villas served as simple farmhouses whilst, for the most complex, the term "palace" is not inappropriate. Villa owners tended to be drawn from a limited elite section of Romano-British society. Although some villas belonged to immigrant Roman officials or entrepreneurs, the majority seem to have been in the hands of wealthy natives with a more-or-less Romanised lifestyle, and some were built directly on the sites of Iron Age farmsteads. Roman villa buildings are widespread, with between 400 and 1000 examples recorded nationally. The majority of these are classified as `minor' villas. Minor villas are found throughout lowland Britain and occasionally beyond. Roman villas provide a valuable index of the rate, extent and degree to which native British society became Romanised, as well as indicating the sources of inspiration behind changes of taste and custom. In addition, they serve to illustrate the agrarian and economic history of the Roman province, allowing comparisons over wide areas both within and beyond Britain. Although much is already known about the minor Romano-British villa 660m south east of Harley Bridge it will retain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, social, political and economic significance, agricultural practices, trade, industrial activity, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 72091
Shropshire HER 00302

Source: Historic England

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