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Romano-British villa east of Sandy Lane, 800m north west of Harpham Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Harpham, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0555 / 54°3'19"N

Longitude: -0.3365 / 0°20'11"W

OS Eastings: 508993.842398

OS Northings: 463456.444206

OS Grid: TA089634

Mapcode National: GBR VP2J.YY

Mapcode Global: WHGD6.SBZ9

Entry Name: Romano-British villa east of Sandy Lane, 800m north west of Harpham Grange

Scheduled Date: 28 August 1956

Last Amended: 13 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013628

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26523

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Harpham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Harpham St John of Beverley

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British villa situated in fields
to the east side of Sandy Lane, between the A166 Burton Agnes to Bridlington
road to the south, and the section of the Roman road between Kilham and
Bridlington to the north.
In around 1904, traces of tesserae, brick, tile, glass beads, oyster shells
and Roman pottery indicated the existence of the villa in what was then known
as Crosstrod field. The site was then excavated by Collier and Sheppard in
1905, when three mosaic floors and some wall plaster were discovered, although
with few structural remains.
The site was excavated again in 1951 and 1955 by members of the Bridlington
Augustinian Society. An E-shaped building with three wings and interconnecting
corridor, floored with mosaics, was found, dated to the fourth century AD by
the finding of a coin of Constantine in mint condition (AD305). A hypocaust
and a workshop were also found. Evidence of earlier occupations of Iron Age
and third century AD date were found in the form of fragmentary buildings and
other finds, including pottery.
Modern post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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
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 found throughout lowland Britain and between 400 and 1000
examples have been recorded in England. Of these less than 10 are examples of
`major' villas. These were the largest, most substantial and opulent type of
villa which were built and used by a small but extremely wealthy section of
Romano-British society. 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. All major villas will be identified as nationally important.

Despite partial excavations in the early part of this century, and again in
the 1950s when mosaic pavements were removed, significant remains of this
villa survive, together with indications of earlier settlements dating to the
Iron Age and early Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Garlick, T, Roman Sites in Yorkshire, (1971), 59
'East Riding Antiquarian Society Transactions' in East Riding Antiquarian Society's Transactions: Volume XIII part 2, (1907)
'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, (1952), 149
Bastow, M.E., AM107, (1987)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Mellor, E, The Harpham Roman Villa, unpublished ms. ?1950 or 1956

Source: Historic England

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