|(17) Roman Settlement (926119), including a villa, lies N.W. of Barton Hill Dairy on a site overlooking the Tarrant, on the S. and E. slopes of a Chalk spur between 300 ft. and 360 ft. above sea-level. Excavations in 1845 revealed 'extensive remains of foundations, and walls with stucco and coloured facings, extending over an area of nearly twenty acres'. On the N. side of the field, 'at some distance from the spot where the principal remains of foundations were discovered', two rooms about 5½ ft. square flanked a narrow corridor; their floors were variously described as paved with red and white tesserae arranged in parallel rows, or as stuccoed. The walls, of flint and greensand 3 ft. thick, were plastered internally and were painted with 'ribbon-work, arches, foliage etc.' . A well 30 ft. deep contained the base and part of the shaft of a large column 'of a classic character and resembling the Ionic'. Finds included flue and roofing tiles, tesserae, samian and coarse pottery, amphorae, circular pipes (presumably of earthenware), querns, bronze brooches, shale rings, and coins of Constantine and Constantius. Some of these finds, and also fragments of mosaic with guilloche, angular and curved patterns in red, white and two shades of grey, are in D.C.M.; other finds are in the B.M. It has been suggested that the site is Anicetis of the Ravenna Cosmography (J.B.A.A., 3rd ser. XVII (1954), 77–8).
The two primary accounts of the excavations of 1845, both by W. Shipp, differ in detail (Hutchins I, 318–19; Brit. Archaeol. Ass. (Winchester Congress, 1846), 179–82). Two Durotrigian silver coins in the Pitt-Rivers collection, described as from Tarrant Gunville, may come from this site (S. Frere, ed., Problems of the Iron Age in Southern Britain (1960), 240).
Limited test excavations in 1968 and 1969 tended to confirm the 19th-century accounts, yielding evidence of flint walls, generally 2 ft. thick, over a wide area. Two plain tesselated pavements, severely damaged by ploughing, and much decorated wall plaster also came to light. Nearly 50 coins were found, ranging from Lucius Verus to Valentinian, but chiefly of the 3rd and 4th centuries.
Posted by Chance
3rd April 2016ce