Gayhurst Villa

Roman-Building and Villa

This site lies on the left (i.e. east) bank of the River Ouse about 765 yards (700m) east of Gayhurst church. The minor Roman settlement of Stony Stratford lies about 5½ miles to the south-west, where the Watling Street crossed the River Great Ouse. The location of this farmstead beside the river very likely indicates the preferred method of transport of the native British family who inhabited it.

The first buildings on the site were two circular huts with stone footings 40 feet (12.2m) in diameter which were erected here sometime during the early-2nd century; neither building displayed any obvious entrance. These round-houses had fallen into disuse by the early-3rd century, to be replaced by a rectangular dwelling 50 feet (15.2m) long, placed between the earlier ramshackle huts. The second-phase building had a timber frame on stone footings and walls of wattle and daub, and a corridor with a fine tessellated floor accessed many of the rooms; a design typical of Roman-Britain at this time, known as a “corridor-villa”. This building fell into disuse around 340AD, although a large timber-framed building of uncertain period and use was erected in its courtyard sometime after the main buildings had fallen into disrepair. This last identified occupation phase on the site was still thought to have occurred during the Roman period.

References for Gayhurst Villa

Britannia ii (1971) p.268.

Map References for Gayhurst Villa

NGRef: SP853464 OSMap: LR152

Roman Roads near Gayhurst Villa

None identified

Sites near Gayhurst Villa