A villa is a country house, usually consisting of farm buildings and living quarters. Villas were typically used for agriculture but they also could have had other uses such as leisure. In a villa you would typically find bath houses, mosaics, courtyards, sometimes farm quarters, living quarters and corridors. I am going to compare Chedworth Villa with other Roman villas to determine whether it was a typical or an atypical villa. Chedworth was situated in between Cirencester and Glouster. It was situated built in a sheltered valley with access to a natural spring.
Chedworth was also built near to the Fosse Way trade route. This linked towns such as Glevum and Corinium together. “One factor that was dominant in their choice of sites: their distance from the town. Villas were working farms and therefore had to be in contact with their markets. ” HH Scullard. This quote shows that the importance of being near a town was great so that trade could take place and the villa could run effectively. The location of Chedworth was helpful to it because it enabled the inhabitants to trade in the town.
The towns were good for trade because of all the different items that were imported and exported by the trade route. Whittington Villa was similar to Chedworth because a ridge sheltered it. It also had the presence of a natural spring. Woodchester Villa was also similar to Chedworth because it was situated near to some major towns, one of these being Bath. The reason it was situated there was so that trade within the town was easier to access. Bignor Villa was also situated near to a major trade route, this was the .
Based on these comparisons I would say that the location of Chedworth was typical because it had a similar location features to other villas. It was near to towns and roads and has access to running water. The fact that Chedworth was built in a sheltered valley was fairly atypical because not a lot of villas were built in this way, however I don’t think that this is enough of a reason to call the location of Chedworth atypical. There are many different plans/shapes that a villa can be built in. These include; cottage plan, winged corridor, courtyard plan or aisled shape.
The plan of Chedworth Villa is a winged corridor plan but it also contained a courtyard. The plans of Lullingstone Villa and North Leigh Villa are similar to Chedworth. Lullingstone had a winged corridor plan with a small corridor attached. North Leigh Villa is a lot like Chedworth because it also had a winged corridor plan and a courtyard. Great Witcome Villa is different to Chedworth because it was built into a hillside and had an isometric construction. From this evidence I think that the plan of Chedworth was typical because it shows that the majority of villas were built with winged corridors or courtyard plans.
Most villas were built in the second or third century. Many villas began to develop in the late second or early third century. Chedworth villa was originally built in the early second century (120 AD) but was rebuilt in the middle of the second century because it was burnt down. Chedworth prospered in the fourth century. In the early fourth century there were large scale improvements made to Chedworth; more rooms were added, bath houses were enlarged and mosaics were added.
This all happened when the empire was at its height. “… reat activity occurred at the end of the third century and during the fourth century.. ” this is a quote by HH Scullard which shows that all of the empire prospered around these times. Bignor villa had similar stages of development to Chedworth. It was built in the second century and developed in the fourth century. This was also when the empire was at its height which is the reason why the villa would have prospered. The wings were extended to incorporate a barn and a bath suite was added during its stages if development. It was also equipped with lavish, high-quality mosaics at this time.