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Roman Villa in Yorkshire

Nature volume 142, page 638 (08 October 1938) | Download Citation



REMAINS of a Roman villa have been brought to light, contrary to anticipation, at Well, a village of the Dales in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Although the site was known to be Roman, it was thought to be too far north to be likely to provide evidence of occupation of any considerable interest. As the result of a week of excavation, however, the walls of bath buildings, which had been connected with a villa, and the floor of the cold water plunge bath have been brought to light. The floor has a tessellated pavement with plaster moulding, and the walls are plaster-lined. There is evidence that the walls had been twice rebuilt, once after a fire. A piece of 'Huntcliffe' pottery indicates that occupation had been so recent as the last quarter of the fourth century. Other pieces of pottery and a coin have been found. Excavation is now being directed to a search for the hot bath room and the walls of the main buildings of the villa, which it is hoped to discover nearby. In view of the geographical situation of the villa, this find is likely to prove of no little interest as an indication of the relation of civil settlement and military occupation, more especially at so late a date. The excavation is being carried out under the supervision of Mr. Gilliard Beer and Mr. Kitson Clark of Leeds, both members of the Roman Antiquities Committee of the Yorkshire Archæological Society. It is stated in a report on the excavation, which appeared in The Times of September 28, that owing to lack of funds it will not be possible to continue the work of excavation beyond the middle of October. It would, indeed, be unfortunate if what may prove an important investigation in its bearing on a critical period should have to be abandoned before completion.

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