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Coberley Roman Villa

A Scheduled Monument in Coberley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8353 / 51°50'7"N

Longitude: -2.0484 / 2°2'54"W

OS Eastings: 396757.663173

OS Northings: 215190.859483

OS Grid: SO967151

Mapcode National: GBR 2MY.YQL

Mapcode Global: VHB23.F4XC

Entry Name: Coberley Roman Villa

Scheduled Date: 16 May 2012

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1405896

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Coberley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Coberley St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The buried remains of a Romano-British villa complex, including a mosaic dating from the late 2nd to early 3rd century AD and a site of industrial tile production.

Source: Historic England


Coberley villa lies c2.5km north-east of Ermin Street, connecting Gloucester (Glevum) and Cirencester (Corinium). It is positioned on a partly artificial plateau, bounded by a steep wooded bank that runs down to the River Churn on the west side. The site includes the known extent of the villa complex, including the buried foundations of an evolved H-shaped villa building, a series of fields, and evidence of industrial activity including a kiln, set within a rectangular enclosure and approached by a road from the east.

The principal villa building is oriented east-west and measures circa 75m by 50m. Building material recovered during excavation (2007) includes stone; a few bricks; box flue tiles (part of the sophisticated heating system); and stone and clay roof tiles. A Roman mosaic, found during excavation, is dated from the late 2nd to early 3rd century AD, based on stylistic evidence, and is considered to have been situated within the triclinium, or dining room, of the villa. Its design, using coloured tesserae, is based on a grid of squares, probably three by three, each containing a motif including flowers, a guilloche knot and a cup. Both monochrome and polychrome wall plaster fragments were also found suggesting a rich decorative scheme.

Evidence of industrial tile production was found in the south-east corner of the villa complex, circa 100m to the east of the villa building. This includes the remains of a kiln, thought to have been used for on-site production of tile specifically for the villa. The excavation (2007) uncovered a series of limestone walls, the remnants of a flue and roof tiles.

The geophysical survey (2004) shows that the villa is set within a rectangular, ditched, enclosure. The wider villa complex is also bounded by further ditches to the south and east. A central break in the eastern boundary, probably an entrance, gives access to a double-ditched road. Aerial photography (1975) shows this approach to the villa extended further eastwards beyond the current A435.


All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features however, is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Romano-British villa at Coberley is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Documentation: extensive records of previous investigations including a geophysical survey and an excavation and evaluation report are available, having increased our understanding and knowledge of this site and enhanced its level of significance as an example of a Romano-British villa complex.

* Group value: it stands in a prominent position 2.5 km from the Roman road connecting Gloucester (Glevum) and Cirencester (Corinium), within an area well known for Romano-British villas.

* Survival/Condition: a particularly good example of a Romano-British villa that survives well in the form of buried archaeological features, including the remains of a mosaic dating from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD.

Source: Historic England


GeoQuest Associates, Geophysical Survey of an Area of Land South of Coberley Village, Gloucestershire, 2004,
Gloucestershire County Council, Arcaeological Salvage Recording at Whitelands Mosaic, Coberley, Gloucestershire, March 2006,
Wessex Archaeology, Coberley Villa, Coberley. Gloucestershire, December 2008,

Source: Historic England

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