Cotterstock 1976-8

 The villa at Cotterstock was first known of in the 1730s when mosaics were found in the field then known as the ‘guilden acre’. William Stukeley came the site to see the mosaics being uncovered and a small fragment was taken away to Deene Hall to be set into a summer house.

Thereafter the position of the site faded from memory until the summer of 1976 when the outlines of the buildings that made up the villa were revealed from the air as parch marks in the grass field. A geophysical survey was undertaken and some limited excavation along the line of a ditch and hedge that ran across the site was also completed. All of this research was then   plotted into a plan of a villa that remains one of the largest in Britain and comparable with some of the other large sites such as Bignor (Sussex) and North Leigh (Oxford).

 

Two mosaics are known from the site and both were illustrated by Edmund Artis in his book of 1828. There were other mosaics which were described in the 1730s newspaper accounts of the early excavations as being of ‘inferior quality’   and thus not recorded. The plan of the villa shows that the whole structure was set around four courtyards.

S.G. Upex, ‘The Roman villa at Cotterstock, Northamptonshire’ Britannia 32,   2001, p.  57-91.
S.G. Upex, ‘Cotterstock: A lost villa re-discovered’ Current Archaeology 191,   2004, p. 512-16.

 

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