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Gazetteer of ROMAN  Yorkshire
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Roman Villa Sites in Yorkshire

In compiling these pages we faced the tricky problem of how to define, and identify, a Roman villa.  Essentially, a Roman villa was a house of relatively high status, with associated agricultural buildings. They varied immensely in design, size, and quality, some being essentially posh small farms, and others dominating large estates. It is beyond the scope of this website to enter into a major debate about the definition of a villa, but we still had to use criteria to determine which sites to regard as villas, and which to leave on the “possibles” list - indeed which to leave out altogether.

To be included in the list of Villas, a site must have Roman domestic buildings, and demonstrate its status by evidence of tesselated floors, a hypocaust, or decorated wall plaster. In addition it must demonstrate likely agricultural use, either from known buildings, or associated field systems, or some other evidence.

The criteria for inclusion in the “Possibles” list are deliberately vague, as our evidence is often no more than an antiquarian’s record of the discovery of a now long lost mosaic floor. Essentially, any site that is of uncertain use but might possibly have been a villa has been listed here.

It is certain that there are many more villa sites waiting to be discovered, indeed there are a few sites in our “possibles” list which have been identified only from aerial photography and await further investigation. No doubt more will follow, and this website will be regularly updated. If you can provide any further information on one of these sites, especially good quality photographs, please contact the Editor/Webmaster/factotum. For a fairly comprehensive and fully referenced list of potential villa sites in our area follow the link to the ADS archive to download the dissertation by Martin Burroughs, Villas of the Brigantes and Parisi (2001) .