Bancroft Roman Villa

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Bancroft Roman Villa
Bancroft Villa, Milton Keynes - geograph.org.uk - 29755.jpg
Site of Bancroft Roman Villa
Bancroft Roman Villa is located in Buckinghamshire
Bancroft Roman Villa
Location within Buckinghamshire
General information
LocationBancroft
grid reference SP827403
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates52°03′24″N 0°47′53″W / 52.05675°N 0.79817°W / 52.05675; -0.79817Coordinates: 52°03′24″N 0°47′53″W / 52.05675°N 0.79817°W / 52.05675; -0.79817
Construction started1st century
Demolished5th century

Bancroft Roman Villa is a Roman villa in the Bancroft district of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. Originally a winged-corridor house, the villa eventually became a grand building with mosaics and a formal garden. The principal rooms have been marked out in Bancroft Park and the fish-pond has been reconstructed. One of the mosaics is on display in Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.

History[edit]

The first farmhouse was constructed in the late 1st century,[1] located downhill from where there had previously been an Iron-Age settlement.[2] In the 2nd century a temple or mausoleum was constructed on the hilltop. Around 170 AD the farmstead was destroyed by fire,[1] but by the late 3rd century it had been replaced by a larger house.[3] In the 4th century major renovations were undertaken.[4] Geometric mosaics were added to many rooms and the main bath-suite was rebuilt and enlarged.[5] In front of the villa a formal garden was laid out together with an ornamental fish-pond.[5] On the top of the hill, the mausoleum was demolished and a circular shrine was built nearby.[4]

Excavation and display[edit]

The villa was partially excavated in the 1970s, and then more fully in 1983-7, becoming one of the most extensively excavated Roman villas in Britain.[5] The villa has since been reburied to ensure its preservation, but the principal rooms have been marked out on the ground with modern stonework, and the fish-pond has been reconstructed.[5] The mosaics have been removed from the site, and one is prominently displayed in Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Farmstead, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
  2. ^ Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Iron Age, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
  3. ^ Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Roman Villa, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
  4. ^ a b Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Bancroft Villa : final plan, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
  5. ^ a b c d Roger John Anthony Wilson, (2002), A guide to the Roman remains in Britain, pages 250–1. Constable
  6. ^ David E. Johnston (2008) Roman Villas, page 62. Osprey
Bancroft Roman Villa is located in Milton Keynes
Bancroft Roman Villa
Location in Milton Keynes
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Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Williams, R. J. Zeepvat, (1994), Bancroft: a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age Settlement, Roman Villa and Temple Mausoleum. Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society. ISBN 0-949003-13-1

External links[edit]