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Roman Villas in Britain
Countryside Homes: Farms and Mansions


Cox Green Roman Villa in Berkshire: A Typical Roman Winged Corridor Villa in Britain -  Nash Ford Publishing

  • The Romans built posh rectangular farmhouses out of (or partly out of) stone. We call them 'villas'. They had lots of rooms.
  • There are lots of different types of villa. The most common were:
    • Cottage Villas, which were simple rectangles. You went through each room to get to the next.
    • Corridor Villas, which had a covered walkway along one side. You could use this to get to all the rooms.
    • Winged Corridor Villas (see picture), which were like Corridor Villas but with two 'wings' of rooms sticking out on each end.
    • Aisled Villas, which were like big barns, sometimes split into rooms inside.
    • Courtyard Villas, which had rooms on three or four sides of a courtyard. These could be very large and posh, like modern stately homes.
  • Many villas had lots of expensive Roman luxuries:
    • Underfloor heating systems (called hypocausts) to keep you warm. These were often under the dining room called a 'triclinium'.
    • Private bath houses for keeping you clean. They were like modern steam rooms.
    • Cellars, probably used for cold storage.
    • Mosaics were pretty patterns or pictures on the floor made out of tiny coloured stones.
    • Wall plaster painted with colours (especially red), patterns or pictures.
    • Private shrines.
    • Private springs.
    • Doors with locks.
    • Some even had window glass.
  • Villas were usually surrounded by lots of other farm buildings, like barns, stables, byres and granaries; and also accommodation for slave farm-workers.

   

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