A recent visit to Chedworth proved worth my while! I have never been to Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire before, but I had heard good things about the place. During the 4th Century the Villa housed some of the wealthiest people in Britain, attracted by the natural spring that rose on site. The spring was made into a water shrine, which can still be seen today.
When I arrived I decided to use the audio guide tour, and I’m glad I did as it really helped to fire the imagination and worked well alongside the site visually. I never normally use audio guides, but I’m slightly hooked now and when I visited Hadrian’s Wall recently, I took full advantage of every site which had them! The device I used at Chedworth was an iPod Touch which told a story alongside historical facts about the site. Chedworth is quite famous for its mosaics, and they are some of the best I have seen.
I took lots of photographs of the site itself too. The underfloor heating was quite a sight to see (if you’re a bit of an archaeology nut like me!) but I think anyone would appreciate the skill involved. The Romans really had some bright ideas. In the later part of the second century AD, three simple detached buildings, each consisting of a few rooms and a simple bath house, were built at the upper end of the combe.
From the 330s to 380s the early villa buildings were extended and fronted by long walkways (or galleries) which would have been covered. These galleries created a type of courtyard and separated the areas of the site. The mosaics are part of the west of the site which had the main reception rooms including the dining room. The dining room mosaics are fascinating to look at, and three couches or triclinium would have been positioned here.
The little museum on site was cute, and I enjoyed having a browse of all the photographs of the site through the ages, including some really retro 70s photos where all the archaeology team are dressed in their 70s suits and flares.
Overall, a fab site to visit and I will definitely be visiting again…I may even be volunteering my archaeology skills too! If anyone lives near to Chedworth, I have heard they do need volunteers over July for an archaeology project, so if you’re interested…get digging!