Ancient Monuments

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Ford Farm Roman Villa

A Scheduled Monument in Bishton (Trefesgob), Newport (Casnewydd)

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Latitude: 51.6015 / 51°36'5"N

Longitude: -2.8899 / 2°53'23"W

OS Eastings: 338460

OS Northings: 189560

OS Grid: ST384895

Mapcode National: GBR JB.B7SV

Mapcode Global: VH7BF.V0KM

Entry Name: Ford Farm Roman Villa

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2001

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1334

Cadw Legacy ID: MM298

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Villa

Period: Roman

County: Newport (Casnewydd)

Community: Bishton (Trefesgob)

Built-Up Area: Underwood

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a building complex, which dates to the Romano-British period (c. AD 70 - 410). The presence of well preserved mosaics and the preliminary study of the arefactual material recovered from Ford Farm indicates the presence of a major, high status Roman building or building complex. The majority of the datable material is of a late Roman date (3rd and 4th centuries AD); however, the base of the samian vessel and the reported discovery of a trumpet brooch suggests that earlier Roman activity (1st/2nd century AD) may also be represented at the location. Adult human remains have been recovered from the site and may indicate significant burial activity. By analogy with the villa site at Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan it could be suggested that they are derived from an early medieval cemetery. The site is located within meadowland, which has not been ploughed since the World War II. As a consequence of the non-intensive agricultural exploitation of the meadowland, the quality of archaeological preservation at the site is exceptionally high. The remains are in places as shallowly buried as 0.15m below the modern ground surface. The archaeological importance of the site can not be over emphasised. Within a South Welsh context, the site at Ford Farm represents one of the best preserved, known Roman sites in a rural setting. The proximity of the site to the legionary fortress at Caerleon makes it highly probable that it is a villa of exceptional status or an official building associated with the Second Augustan Legion.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Romano-British rural settlement and socio-economic organisation. The feature forms an important element within the wider context of Romano-British society in Wales and retains significant archaeological potential. Villas are often part of a larger cluster of rural and urban settlements and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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