Keynsham Cemetery Villa

Settlement and Villa

Excavations in 1922-24 at Keynsham Cemetery uncovered a large and elaborate villa consisting of three corridors round a courtyard 209′ x 202′ underlying the cemetery and road embankment. Excavated 1922-24. The villa located¬† may be one of grandest villas ever built in Britain, and has even been compared to a small palace.

Archeologists believe that this villa may have been the home a high ranking retired-army officer or civil servant, and it had over 30 rooms, hypocaust heated floors, and numerous elaborate and expensive mosaics. The rooms were connected by a veranda supported by a colonnade which ran around three sides of the courtyard.

Tessellated pavements removed and walls under graveyard destroyed after planning. Coins found from Victorinus (265 AD) to Valentinian (364-375).

A fragmentary part of the villa is exposed at ST 6451 6925 in Keynsham cemetery. It consists of a small irregular room with stone walling 1.0m high (the top of the walling is level with the ground surface). At this site there are also pieces of columns and stone drainage channelling.

There is a single inscription on stone recorded in the R.I.B. for Somerdale and Keynsham.

RIB181 - Dedication to Silvanus

NVM DIVOR
AVG G INDVTIVS
FELIX SILVANO
V S L M
CON VIC GA
To the Divinities of the deified Emperors Gaius Indutius Felix willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow to Silvanus ...
For the expansion of Aug. as Aug(ustorum) see note to RIB 152.

References for Somerdale Villa

  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).¬†
  • Monument Number 201036

Map References for Somerdale Villa

NGRef: ST6460 OSMap: LR172

Roman Roads near Somerdale Villa

None identified