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Like so many other villas in our region, this one appears to have been built on the site of an earlier Iron Age farmstead, although whether this was constant unbroken occupation is not clear. Whilst excavated in 1904 & the 50’s, the plan has largely been revealed by more recent aerial photography conducted as part of the Yorkshire Wolds . This revealed an extensive 4th century villa complex sitting within an apparently Iron Age ditched enclosure system which at least in part has restricted and even dictated the layout. The west wall of the main building courtyard is actually curved to follow the line of the enclosure ditch. The villa comprises two courtyards of similar size (72m x 58m & 67x60m) with a further slightly smaller courtyard (with no obvious buildings) to the east, all aligned on a west - east axis. The main building (see below) is in the western courtyard, along with at least three other small, rectangular buildings near the west wall. The central courtyard has a "T" shaped building in one corner that may be a bathhouse (long axis 15m, short axis 9m, width 4m), along with two large buildings (33x7.5m), possibly barns, at either side. The enclosure system extends s for at least 200m to the north and 200m to the south of the villa, with other possible structures at TA 0905 6344. There is a possible burial ground at TA 0891 6352 (evidenced by pit like anomalies) and further cropmarks indicating further Iron Age or Roman enclosures and trackways. 1.

In c1904 the rev. C.V. Collier uncovered traces of mosaic and masonry remains uncovered in Crosstrod field, Harpham, Driffield. Excavations by Collier and Sheppard in 1905 found three mosaics together with wall plaster, but little structural remains2.. The site was re-excavated in 1951 and 1955 revealing an E-shaped building of three wings connected by a corridor which appears to have been floored with mosaics. A coin of Constantine, AD 305, in mint condition was found below one of the mosaics indicating a fourth century AD date for the villa. Fragments of earlier buildings were also present, associated with 3rd century AD pottery and items suggestive of Iron Age date. 3.


1. English Heritage Pastscape Monument No. 79578  accessed 9/5/2013

2. Trans. East Riding Antiq Soc 13 1906 (ii) pp141-52

3. Eleanor Scott 1993 A gazetteer of Roman Villas in Britain. Leicester archaeology monographs No.1 (1993) - no.1 Page(s)98

E. Riding, TA 0898 6351
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