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Roman villa and earlier prehistoric settlement 400m west of Lone Farm, Itchen

A Scheduled Monument in Itchen Valley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.1049 / 51°6'17"N

Longitude: -1.2453 / 1°14'43"W

OS Eastings: 452934.982017

OS Northings: 134224.794231

OS Grid: SU529342

Mapcode National: GBR 96W.PZ1

Mapcode Global: VHD0Y.CHJB

Entry Name: Roman villa and earlier prehistoric settlement 400m W of Lone Farm, Itchen

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1949

Last Amended: 25 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012693

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26705

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Itchen Valley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: The Itchen Valley

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes the remains of a prehistoric settlement consisting of
enclosures, ditches and trackways visible in the form of cropmarks, best seen
from the air, and of a Roman villa. The villa is situated on the northern side
of the known extent of the earlier settlement. Both lie on a slight south
facing slope immediately below the crest of a chalk ridge which overlooks the
valley of the River Itchen.
The prehistoric settlement includes a large sub-rectangular ditched enclosure
approximately 60m by 30m with an entrance visible on its north east side.
Attached to the north side of this enclosure is a semicircular ditched annexe.
Other elements of the settlement include a series of smaller enclosures,
linking trackways, boundaries and part of a field system. Pottery recovered
from the field surface in this area suggests a date in the later Iron Age.
The villa was investigated in 1878 and 1879 when an area of approximately 18m
by 15m was exposed. Within this area lay five rooms, four of which grouped
around a possible courtyard which remained unexcavated. The four rooms around
the courtyard contained mosaics, three of which included decorative panels.
Within these rooms the wall plaster survived to a maximum height of 12 inches
(0.3m). The remains of a hypocaust system for underfloor heating were also
discovered but were not fully investigated.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and tracks although the ground
beneath these features is included.
Part of the monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from
single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally
represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of
circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where
excavated, these sites are also found to contain storage pits for grain and
other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The
surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling
and tribal raiding.
In central southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in
areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although
some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been
recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

The settlement 400m west of Lone Farm, Itchen Abbas, lies in close association
with a Roman villa.
Roman villas were extensive rural estates at the focus of which were groups of
domestic, agricultural and occasionally industrial buildings. The buildings
usually included a well appointed dwelling house, most of which were partly or
wholly stone built, often 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. Villa buildings were
constructed throughout the period of Roman occupation, from the first to the
fourth centuries AD. Between 400 and 1000 examples are recorded nationally,
the majority throughout lowland Britain. Most villas appear to have been in
the hands of wealthy natives with a partly Romanised lifestyle. Some, as in
the example at Itchen Abbas, were built directly on the sites of Iron Age
settlements. 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 levelled by cultivation, remains of the prehistoric settlement
survive as buried features, visible on aerial photographs. It is one of
several such complexes on the chalk downs bordering the Itchen Valley and
together these sites will provide information on the Iron Age landscape.
Part excavation has also confirmed the survival of buried remains of the Roman
villa, important not only in its own right but in its relationship to the
earlier settlement, providing information on the development of the landscape
through time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Collier, Rev. C, 'Journal British Archaeological Association' in On An Unexplored Roman Villa At Itchen Abbas, , Vol. 34, (1878), 233-234
Collier, Rev. C, 'Journal British Archaeological Association' in Proceedings of the Association, , Vol. 35, (1879), 109-110
Johnson, DE, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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