Roman mosaic surprise

Chedworth Roman Villa (and museum) courtesy of Sykes Cottages website

The Roman villa at Chedworth in Gloucestershire is an amazing place to visit with substantial foundations and an array of mosaics, some still in situ within the original house walls. And now it’s even more amazing, because Carbon-14 dating has revealed one of those mosaics, in Room 28, is much later than experts believed possible.

The mosaic has been dated to around the middle of the fifth century AD, which is decades later than the period when production of mosaics – and even construction work on villas – was thought to have stopped. Here, it’s thought a room in the villa was sub-divided, and a new floor laid in one of the smaller rooms – so there was obviously still the wealth, and technical know-how, available.

I last visited Chedworth in the early 1980s with some university friends. We were tickled pink when a family of American tourists drove up, got out of the car, asked us if the Edwardian on-site museum (seen in the background of the above photo) was the villa, expressed great disappointment when we said ‘no’, got back in their car and drove off again! Unlike those tourists, I shall make a point of going back soon, because it sounds as though research and archaeology has continued at the site and it would be well worth another trip.

You can find out more about the ground-breaking mosaic, and the villa in general, at the National Trust website, starting with this dedicated page about the discovery. And apologies if everyone already knew about this. I saw the news at the time it was first announced, but forgot to read up on it, or mention it on here.

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