The building at Acton Scott, on Wenlock Edge south of Church Stretton, lies on a south-facing slope above a stream. The rectangular building was aligned precisely east-west, and appears to have had later additions to its western end. It is probable that the building originated as an ‘aisled barn’, and was later part-converted into a habitable dwelling. A small bath-house was incorporated within the south-west corner of the building (and/or added on to it; the actual building sequence of the structure is very complicated).
The building which measured approximately 31m long, by 12.5m wide was uncovered which contained nine or ten rooms and had extensions to the south and west sides. One room had a sunken concrete floor and painted plaster and was interpreted as the possible bath house. It appeared that the building had originally been an aisled barn which was later converted into a dwelling house and the discovery of a sandstone pillar suggested the presence of a colonnaded veranda. Other finds included roof and flue tiles, iron clamps, a key, a horseshoe, spur, pottery, animal bones and oyster shells. In the same field as the villa a rectangular enclosure has been identified this is defined by a single ditch and has a southern entrance. Partial excavations in 1997 and 2004 of the ditch have produced Romano- British pottery and building materials including brick, tile, tegula and hypocaust pieces.
The villa is entirely buried and its presence confirmed by partial excavation, although also visible on aerial photographs as crop and soil marks. The villa building was first discovered in 1817 and first excavated in 1844.
Given the proximity of the Romano-British lead-mining complex at Norbury / Linley Hall, which lies about 4 miles to the west, and the fact that there are no other substantial Romano-British buildings within some twenty miles or so, it is very likely that the villa building here at Acton Scott is associated in some mannner with the production of lead; perhaps being the official residence of the procurator in charge of the mine, removed away from the noise and pollution of the production centre itself, and placed beside a major north-south route (‘Watling Street West’; Margary#6b). There was a Roman auxiliary fort situated about 3 miles to the south along this road at Stretford Bridge.
References for Acton Scott
- The Roman Villa – An Historical Introduction by John Percival (B.C.A., London, 1976) p.103;
- The Cornovii by Graham Webster (rev. ed., Sutton, London, 1991);
Map References for Acton Scott
NGRef: SO 45885 89774 OSMap: LR137/136
Minor Romano-British villa 320m ESE of Acton Scott Farm.
Roman Roads near Acton Scott