Why Chedworth Roman Villa is special
The oldest house cared for by the National Trust
Chedworth Roman Villa was a magnificent country house built for a few very wealthy people. It was at its most splendid in the 4th century AD.
Chedworth is the only Roman villa looked after by the National Trust. The villa fell into ruin and was largely forgotten about until discovered by Victorian archaeologists.
The descendants of some of its Roman occupants still live here
The Roman snail (Helix Pomatia) was first brought here for food during the Roman period. They continue to thrive here today and can be seen around the villa during the spring and summer months. During the winter the snails hibernate by closing their shell with a self-made lime lid and hiding in a secure earth hole.
Helix Pomatia are now a protected species and can only be handled by those with a special license.
Glimpse Roman interior design and technology at its very best
Archaeological excavations have found several mosaics, displaying the wealth and status of those who lived at the villa. They are some of the very best Roman mosaics on display in the country and provide a unique insight into the lives of the inhabitants.
The remains of sophisticated and luxurious underfloor heating (hypocaust), toilets and bathing suites can all be found at Chedworth. Three different types of pilae, stacks of tiles or stone columns which were part of the underfloor heating system, can be seen, illustrating the opulence of the villa at its height in the fourth century.
The museum, the first of its kind located on an archaeological site in Britain, was built by the Victorians to display some of the finer finds from the villa. The lodge was added later for custodians to live in and to serve refreshments to visitors.