Hampshire Archaeology

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Seeing the light of day – Sparsholt Roman Villa

spar.0.16

The Roman villa at Sparsholt, just to the north west of Winchester, was excavated in the 1960s, with follow-up work in the early 1980s, by the late David Johnston.  He had begun work on the publication and, following his death in 2011, this was taken forward and brought to fruition by the the Hampshire Field Club, with additonal authorship by Dr Jonathan Dicks.

SPAR D54 spar.B.7

An Iron Age enclosure existed on the site but the Sparsholt villa began as a single rectangular aisled building of the mid to late 2nd century.  This evolved into a courtyard villa with a defining wall enclosing a main house, barn, and the aisled building.  There was also an adjacent ‘hall’.  The villa was abandoned in the late 4th century.

A mosaic floor during excavation - it is now in the Winchester City Museum.

A mosaic floor during excavation – it is now in the Winchester City Museum.

Among the finds were two fine mosaics, one of which is the central feature in the Roman display at Winchester City Museum.  The site  also produced large quantities of painted wall plaster and an array of pottery, animal bone, glass, stone and metalwork.

Excavation reveals a finely turned stone column.

Excavation reveals a finely turned stone column.

The report is published as Hampshire Field Club Monograph 11 – Sparsholt Roman Villa, Hampshire; Excavations by David E Johnston.  Details of how to obtain a copy can be found on the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society website.

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