Thursday, 3 December 2015

Site of 'Roman villa' saved from housing development

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.
Signs of 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 purposes.
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."
The site 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.
Dr 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.
"It features extensive mosaic pavements and some very high quality wall painting, both located when parts of the villa were excavated in the 1950s."

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