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Roman villa north of Sandlands Grove

A Scheduled Monument in Tadworth and Walton, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2871 / 51°17'13"N

Longitude: -0.2463 / 0°14'46"W

OS Eastings: 522392.939548

OS Northings: 155672.835507

OS Grid: TQ223556

Mapcode National: GBR B1.NLF

Mapcode Global: VHGRW.PX57

Entry Name: Roman villa north of Sandlands Grove

Scheduled Date: 18 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009403

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12849

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Tadworth and Walton

Built-Up Area: Ewell

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Walton-on-the-Hill

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument comprises the buried remains of a Roman villa, including at
least two structures and associated archaeological features, which was
identified in 1915 and partially excavated in 1939-40. The full extent of
the villa was not established, but the main dwelling underlies the gardens
of `Windmill Bank', `Four Seasons' and `The Old Manse'.
Three phases of building were identified, all within the Roman period. These
lay over evidence for Late Iron Age or Early Roman occupation but without
evidence of structures. In about AD100 a small barn-like structure was
built,of which only a single length of walling survived when the villa was
rebuilt on a more ambitious scale around AD180. This main period of
occupation lasted until the 4th century before alterations were again made,
and the villa was finally abandoned shortly before Roman rule in Britain
collapsed in AD410. After the AD180 rebuilding, the dwelling conformed to a
`winged corridor' plan commonly found in villa buildings of this date:
hence long corridors at the front and back gave access into the three
central square rooms and to additional rooms at the ends of the building
which jutted out slightly, giving rise to the `winged' description. The
building measured some 44m by 26m. A bath house and a large circular room,
perhaps a dining room, projected westwards from the main part of the
building, while to the south a threshing floor was located, illustrating the
primarily agricultural role of the villa.
The fences and garden sheds are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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
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,
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,
from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. They are usually complex structures
occupied over several hundred years and continually remodel led 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 Roman 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 site of Iron Age farmsteads.

Roman villa buildings are widespread, with between 400 and 1000 examples
recorded nationally. They occur over most of lowland Britain and occasionally
beyond. As such they 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. As a
very diverse and often long-lived type of monument, a significant proportion
of the known population are identified as nationally important.

The villa buildings north of Sandlands Grove survive well despite the
limited damage caused by the partial excavation. Indeed the excavations
secured a high level of archaeological documentation of the site whilst
ensuring that the site retained significant archaeological potential for the
recovery of further evidence of the nature and duration of the villa
buildings' use. The discovery of Late Iron Age or Early Roman remains on the
site offers the opportunity to study the continuity of settlement over a
long timespan.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lowther, A W G, Roman Villa at Sandlands Road, Walton on the Hill, (1949)
Monument Class Description - Minor Villas,

Source: Historic England

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