Boxmoor Roman Villa

Villa

Boxmoor Roman Villa is a ruined Roman Villa at Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. The remains have been excavated, but they are now buried. The Roman villa was occupied from the first century AD up to the Fourth century.

The earliest phase found a simple timber structure built directly on the clay subsoil during the late first century. This building was deliberately demolished by burning in the early second century to clear the site for the Period II and III (c.130-150 A.D.). The new building had walls of mixed clay and chalk (cob) and was provided with a mosaic found by Evans in 1852, but later destroyed.

During the third century, the villa was largely rebuilt and mortared flint walls were added over the cob walls. The last phase dated to the first half of the fourth century when the villa was reduced from eleven rooms to seven and an underfloor heating system was inserted into one of the rooms. Later in the century, the number of rooms was reduced to five.

The villa appears to have changed from a ‘residential’ to a ‘functional’ use, possibly being used as a workshop. In its heyday, the villa had been elaborately decorated with at least three mosaics, as well as ornamental and figured plaster.

Excavations at Boxmoor Roman Villa

Sir John Evans undertook the first excavation at the site, in 1852, in the grounds of Boxmoor House in Box Lane. Further excavations were carried out by Hemel Hemsptead Excavation Society, under the direction of David Neal, between 1966 and 1970. In October 2015 archaeologists from Icknield Archaeology returned to the Roman villa at Boxmoor in Hertfordshire.