Land rear of Barnwood School, Worplesdon

Excavation by R Poulton of SCAU, for SCC, of an area proposed for residential development, previously evaluated in 1994 and 1997. The first phase of activity on the site was early to mid 2nd century when a number of human cremations were buried in shallow scoops. In the same period a large boundary ditch was excavated and it is possible that a post-built structure is also of this date. In the late 2nd - 3rd centuries, a large stone-built structure was constructed. Presumed to be a villa, the scale of the foundations are suggestive of a two-storey building, with possibly three storeys flanking what is thought to be the entrance, at the south east. Very little evidence for in situ flooring was discovered, suggesting that the floors were raised. Outside the villa were courtyards or enclosures defined by shallow gulleys and/or a substantial fence. The villa was demolished in the late 3rd or 4th century. A number of large pits were excavated within its footprint. The purpose and exact date of these is uncertain, but it is possible that they represent 4th century activity on the then abandoned site. (334)