Bancroft Roman Villa
|Bancroft Roman Villa|
Site of Bancroft Roman Villa
|Construction started||1st 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.
The first farmhouse was constructed in the late 1st century, located downhill from where there had previously been an Iron-Age settlement. In the 2nd century a temple or mausoleum was constructed on the hilltop. Around 170 AD the farmstead was destroyed by fire, but by the late 3rd century it had been replaced by a larger house. In the 4th century major renovations were undertaken. Geometric mosaics were added to many rooms and the main bath-suite was rebuilt and enlarged. In front of the villa a formal garden was laid out together with an ornamental fish-pond. On the top of the hill, the mausoleum was demolished and a circular shrine was built nearby.
Excavation and display
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. 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. The mosaics have been removed from the site, and one is prominently displayed in Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.
- Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Farmstead, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Iron Age, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Roman Villa, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Bancroft Villa : final plan, Milton Keynes Heritage Association, retrieved 15 May 2012
- Roger John Anthony Wilson, (2002), A guide to the Roman remains in Britain, pages 250–1. Constable
- David E. Johnston (2008) Roman Villas, page 62. Osprey
- 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
- Archaeology in the Milton Keynes District - Roman Bancroft
- Bancroft Villa 4th Century Roman Pavement, conservation and display by Heritage Tile Conservation Ltd
- Build a model of Bancroft Roman Villa, Armada Model Designs