Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Roman building 200yds (180m) north west of Spring Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Ashington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9298 / 50°55'47"N

Longitude: -0.4006 / 0°24'2"W

OS Eastings: 512491.049079

OS Northings: 115698.219192

OS Grid: TQ124156

Mapcode National: GBR HL3.MJQ

Mapcode Global: FRA B61N.9Q2

Entry Name: Roman building 200yds (180m) NW of Spring Copse

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005826

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 410

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Ashington

Built-Up Area: Ashington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ashington St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Roman building, 320m south-west of Church Farm House.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 6 November 2014. The 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.

The monument includes a Roman building surviving as below-ground archaeological remains. It is situated on gently sloping ground above a stream, north-west of Spring Copse near Ashington.

The building dates from the second century AD and is associated with a number of ditches. In 1947, partial excavation identified the north-east corner of the foundations of a substantial flint and mortar building about 0.5m below ground level. Within the walls Roman building material and tiles were recovered. Outside the building a small number of Roman coins were found, including one of Constantine, along with Romano-British greyware pottery sherds, dating to the second century AD, and glass fragments. In 1999, geophysical survey confirmed the location of the building, which extends east across a field boundary above Spring Copse, and identified contemporary field ditches surviving as buried features. The extensive area of the building indicates that it is probably a minor Roman villa.

The course of a Roman road, running from Barcombe Mills to Hardham, is situated about 1km south of the site

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Romano-British villas were extensive rural estates at the focus of which were groups of domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings. 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, underfloor 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 and could serve a wide variety of uses alongside agricultural activities, including administrative, recreational and craft functions. 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. Roman villa buildings are widespread, with between 400 and 1000 examples recorded nationally. The majority of these are classified as ‘minor’ villas to distinguish them from ‘major’ villas. Minor villas are found throughout lowland Britain and occasionally beyond. A significant proportion of the known population are identified as nationally important.

Despite some partial disturbance from cultivation in the past, the Roman building, 300m south-west of Church Farm House, survives well. It has been shown by partial excavation to contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the Roman building and the landscape in which it was constructed. Geophysical survey indicates that the area has potential for further archaeological investigation.

Source: Historic England


West Sussex HER 3363 - MWS1290. NMR TQ11NW1, LINEAR 585. PastScape 396205, 1325617.

Source: Historic England

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