The Cotswolds is famous for its long, tranquil walks and stunning rolling hills that capture the essence of the British countryside. What you wouldn’t expect, however, is that in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds Valley rest the fascinating remains of one of the grandest, and one of only few, Roman villas in Britain. Visit Chedworth Roman Villa for an interesting dose of British history and a lovely walk in nature.
This Roman Villa was rediscovered by chance by the Victorians over 150 years ago, in the summer of 1864. It’s history actually stretches back an amazing 2000 years, with evidence of its first stone structures being dated to the 2nd century AD! It was a place of luxury and wealth, likely to have been reserved for the imperial Roman family.
Chedworth Villa is the oldest house cared for by the National Trust, offering an amazing insight into Romano British history – within you’ll find Britain’s first found 5th century mosaic, some of the best on display in the country and offer a unique insight into the incredible wealth and luxurious lifestyle of the villas inhabitants. Explore the West Range and admire the intricate workings of their underfloor heating and bathroom systems, the most sophisticated of their time in the country. Take a look at the museum which displays finer finds and artefacts unearthed at the site, from jewellery, coins and more which give you an insight into changing religious beliefs in Britain.
The villa is also home to an abundance of wildlife! In the Nymphaeum water shrine, the ancient site of offerings to the water goddess, you may find frogs, newts and their spawn in early spring. The Roman snail, a spectacular protected species who has been living here since the Roman occupants first arrived, still roams the site! Keep your ears open for the relaxing birdsong of nuthatches and wagtails, and your eyes peeled for deer in the surrounding area.
Cap off your visit by indulging in a tasty snack, meal or beverage from their café and bring a Roman-themed souvenir home to commemorate your visit to this incredible site.