Why Chedworth Roman Villa is special

What makes this ancient site 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.

Imagine yourself back in 4th century Britain
4th century villa illustration of Chedworth Roman Villa, Gloucestershire
Imagine yourself back in 4th century Britain

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. 

Stone pilae rising up from the ground
Stone pilae rising up from the ground
Stone pilae rising up from the ground

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.

Helix Pomatia enjoying the villa grounds
Helix Pomatia enjoying the villa grounds
Helix Pomatia enjoying the villa grounds

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 face of spring looking up from the floor
The face of spring looking up from the floor
The face of spring looking up from the floor

 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.

Standing stones give a glimpse into the past
Standing stones give a glimpse into the past
Standing stones give a glimpse into the past

Time detective

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.

Delve into the past in the Victorian museum
Delve into the past in the Victorian museum
Delve into the past in the Victorian museum