This large villa is located on the limestone upland of Lincolnshire just north of Lincoln, close to a major junction on Ermine Street where the alternative road to York via Doncaster and Tadcaster, missing out the Humber ferry, branches-off. Scampton was inexpertly excavated in 1795 and poorly recorded by Illingworth in 1808. The villa buildings are arranged around a rectangular double-courtyard, with its longer axis aligned almost north-south, the residential rooms were located on the south and east sides, the servant’s quarters on the north, while the entrance lay on the west, via a corridor or portico which spanned almost the entire breadth of the building. The buildings were supplied with fresh water from a nearby spring.
Large and opulent villas are very scarce within the territories of the Coritani tribe, the Scampton villa being one of only three which speak of a decent amount of wealth spent on its appointment, decoration and complexity of design, most of the Coritanian villas being either of the simple “corridor” type or the “aisled-barn” format; the other two examples are located at Southwell in Nottinghamshire and Norfolk Street near Leicester. Villas of the “double-courtyard” type are likewise quite rare, notable examples in Britain being Llantwit Major in Glamorgan, Darenth in Kent, and Woodchester in Gloucestershire.
References for Scampton Villa
- Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968);
- The Roman villa : an historical introduction by John Percival (London, Batsford, 1976);
- The Coritani by Malcolm Todd, F.S.A. (Rev. ed. Sutton, 1991) [from the Peoples of Roman Britain series].