Chedworth Roman Villa celebrates 150th anniversary season with full year of events

First published in Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

CHEDWORTH Roman Villa has swapped Roman tunics for Victorian top-hats this year to celebrate its 150th anniversary season.

The villa at Chedworth was built in the second century AD and was one of the largest and most lavishly decorated houses in Roman Britain.

In the fifth century, the villa fell to ruin and was lost until a chance discovery in 1864.

Members of staff at the villa have planned a full year of events for both adults and children, to celebrate discovering the remains150 years ago.

“This year is a very special one for Chedworth Roman Villa,” said visitor services co-ordinator Sigute Barniskyte. “There will be all kinds of events and activities. People will be walking around the site in Roman or Victorian costume giving talks and there will be special conservation tours every Thursday,”

The celebratory season at the villa kicked off during February half term with activities.

“Chedworth is a special site because although a lot of people have dug holes here, we still don’t know a lot about it,” said National Trust archaeologist Nancy Grace. “Just when you think you’ve exhausted every avenue, you discover something else. There is so much mystery.

“People could be walking over mosaics right now without knowing.

“It’s quite amazing. It’s also unusual that the Victorians did such a good job in covering up the mosaics and protecting them.

“Chedworth Roman Villa is just such a great place.”

During half term, visitors enjoyed mosaic making, holding real Roman artefacts and taking a tour of the museum.

Anna-Silvia Dooley came with her son Freddie and said she thought the site was amazing.

“I want to come back again. I’ve seen a few Roman villas in England and Freddie is learning about the Romans at school.

“It’s phenomenal, I wish we had come here earlier.”

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/chedworth-roman-villa for more information about its anniversary celebrations.

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