Land in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, where the remains of a Roman villa were discovered, has been bought by a mystery benefactor for a seven figure amount to save it from housing development.
the Roman villa had been discovered in the 1950s when intricate mosaic
tiled pavements were discovered during excavations.
The site which
has been bought is alongside where the earlier remains had been
discovered, and has been given to new custodian Southwell Minster. The
land can now be used only for educational, conservation and cultural
Acting dean, Canon Nigel Coates said: "It's a
benefaction we never anticipated and he or she has been extraordinarily
generous in giving us this site.
"It's their wish to remain
anonymous but we do hope that in the future the connection with
Southwell and the person's identity will be made known."
had previously received planning permission for nine houses from
Sherwood District Council, although the plans were strongly opposed by
the 'Save Roman Southwell' campaign.
Plans for the long-term
future of the site are yet to be decided but the area will be cleared of
rubble and grass laid initially, to improve the general appearance.
Will Bowden, Associate Professor in Roman Archaeology at the University
of Nottingham, said the villa would have been large and impressive,
commenting: "Villas were massive farm complexes with agricultural and
industrial functions that could extend over a wide area.
features extensive mosaic pavements and some very high quality wall
painting, both located when parts of the villa were excavated in the
If you would like to get in touch with us, contact us via our official Twitter profile and Facebook Profile.