Holme House Villa


Located just over 1 mile (1.8km) north of Mansfield in North Yorkshire on a gravel terrace above the River Tees, this site, surrounded by an irregular, sub-rectangular ditch was identified on air photographs in 1965 and investigated on the ground in 1969. The (defensive?) enclosure was formed by two round-bottomed ditches on the N, each 5½ft (c.1.7m) wide and 4ft (c.1.2m) deep. A 50ft (c.15m) diameter circular building lay at the centre of the enclosure, underneath which lay another building of an earlier period; neither has been dated. To the north of this (Iron-Age?) round-house was discovered a Romano-British villa which showed three phases of structural development:

  1. The original house was built of stone with a roughly rectangular outline and the interior divided into one large and two small rooms. The post-holes of a timber portico fronted the building on the west and the north but no traces were recorded on the other sides.
  2. The original house was later extended to the north by the addition of a bath-suite fitted-out with tessallated floors and painted wall-plaster.
  3. A flued structure, perhaps a corn-dryer or domestic oven, was later inserted into the bath-house, but this entire northern range was apparently dismantled, ‘probably at the end of the second century’.

… in the main house, the first stone structure comprised three main rooms plus a passage (or stair). Stone post-bases within these rooms may belong to an earlier timber structure. The bath-block added to the north end partly overlay the north ditch of the enclosure, which had been deliberately filled. Pottery in the main drain from the baths indicates that these were no longer in use by the end of the second century. At the south end a dining and reception suite had also been added to the original house. …” (Britannia 1971)

A large round-house type building to the south of the villa was probably erected during the post-Roman period on the same spot as another Roman building which was levelled in the process. A coin of Trajan was found in a Roman post-hole buried beneath this structure.

References for Holme House Villa

Britannia i (1970) pp.279/80 & Fig.6; Britannia ii (1971) pp.251/2 & fig.5.

Map References for Holme House Villa

NGRef: NZ221152 OSMap: LR93

Roman Roads near Holme House Villa

None identified

Sites near Holme House Villa