(3 miles N.E. of Cirencester)
The area covered by monuments (1)–(4) is on Forest
Marble, except for a strip of Great Oolite along the
parish boundary with Winson. The buildings (1) and
the fields (2) are clearly connected, but it is notable that
the field lynchets contain grass-tempered pottery,
of which no example has yet been found in the area of
the house. Undated monuments (3) and (4) are almost
certainly Romano-British and are possibly related to
(1), as might also be the Romano-British settlement in
Winson, ¾ mile to N.W.
(1) Roman Villa, Barnsley Park (SP 08100615), currently being excavated by Dr. Graham Webster
(plan, p. 10), is sited on almost flat ground with
ample water supplies near by. It consists of a building
(a) with a winged 'veranda' facing S.E.; it is nearly
100 ft. long and concealed a 'yard', perhaps roofed, with
a bath-house in one corner, a room or rooms at either
end and other structures including a channelled hypocaust (h) on the N.W. A barn (b), 57 ft. long and 17 ft.
wide internally, is set at right angles to (a) Occupation
of the site originated in the 2nd century. Both (a) and
(b) lie over gullies and post-holes associated with
agricultural activity, and dry-stone walls. The circular
walls, up to 3 ft. wide, are dated to c. 280–330. The
earliest, but undated masonry building, originally an
open shed, stands N.E. of (a). The main building and
bath-house, associated with domestic occupation, were
erected c. 350–60. Wells (W) 1 and 2, were both dug
to a depth of about 25 ft. Within about 20 years of its
construction building (a) was reduced to primarily
agricultural use. The barn (b), partly coeval with the
main building phase, continued in use after 380. Straight
dry-stone walls packed with mud and debris, including
coins, stand in the courtyard and under the barn, and
have the same orientation as the buildings and the 4
acres or more of walled closes which surround them;
this is also true of most of the associated fields (2). Some
walls are older than the upper paving level of the courtyard. Occupation of the site continued into the 5th
The masonry of the building of c. 350–60 is generally
of high quality. A wall stone was inscribed FIRMINI,
and decorative stone roof finials were found in a well.
Pilaster bases and column fragments suggest an elegant
veranda. The bath-house had tufa voussoirs. The only
certainly heated living room (5) had a channelled hypocaust, later blocked, and a concrete floor. Part of another
channelled hypocaust was disclosed at (h) in 1971. Room
29 had a concrete floor coved at its junction with the
walls. The barn (b) was built of fine herring-bone
masonry. The paved courtyard between (a) and (b)
was resurfaced in several places with high-quality
pitched stone; the latest surface, dated after 380, shows
parallel wheel ruts 4 ft. 8 in. apart. There were also
carefully constructed stone paths about 5 ft. wide.
Finds: Over 700 coins have been found, ranging from
the third quarter of the 3rd century to the end of the
4th century, the peak period being 330–75. Pottery
includes samian, the earliest pieces being Trajanic. An
intaglio had a Good Shepherd design, probably
Christian. Twenty styli were found and large numbers
of agricultural and domestic tools, including two very
long scythes of 'Great Chesterford' type and a massive
carpenter's chisel. Other finds include quern stones,
stone troughs, widespread animal bones and, from the
wells, worked wood and leather, and identifiable insects.
TBGAS, 86 (1967), 74–87. Additional information supplied
by Dr. Webster.
Barnsley. (1) Roman Villa, Barnsley Park.
Barnsley. (1) Roman villa, (2) 'Celtic' fields, (3) Enclosure and (4) Probable settlement.
(2) 'Celtic' Fields (SP 074064–SP 085058), Barnsley
Park, disturbed in various ways, but a rare survival in
their situation, cover some 120 acres and occupy most
of the N. half of the park surrounding the buildings
described in (1). They are linked to and, except at E.
and S.E., follow the general alignment of 4 or more
acres of dry-stone walled closes around the buildings.
An area of pasture with an undated enclosure (c),
adjacent to a pond, separates the domestic closes from
the fields on the N.W. For the most part the land is
almost flat, but it rises gently towards the W. where the
remains of a substantial bank and ditch (d) stand at the
limit of the more clearly defined fields; lesser traces of
field banks extend further W. To the N. the ground
drops gently to the natural bounds of a narrow valley,
potentially marshy, where the headwaters of a stream
in Cadmoor are flanked on the N. by Deadlands Copse.
A lesser re-entrant bounds the fields on the S.W.
A lateral gulley from Cadmoor lies outside the park
wall, towards the E., beyond which the ground is
ploughed. Ridge-and-furrow covers much of the
S. half of the park and intrudes into the field area at
The remains have been surveyed and selectively
excavated by Mr. P. J. Fowler. The soil is a rich red
loam, about a foot deep above the broken surface of
Forest Marble bedrock. Field boundaries examined
consist of narrow earthen banks. Their position has been
emphasised by ancient plough action on both sides,
leaving either low baulks up to 40 ft. across, or lynchets
up to 3½ ft. high. There is no sign of original fences or
walls. Abraded pottery in the ploughsoil, thought to be
the consequence of manuring with domestic refuse,
includes grass-tempered ware probably of the 5th
century and later than any finds from (1), as well as
sherds which could match pottery from that building.
Original sizes of individual fields cannot in general
be determined. The overall pattern is akin to that of
prehistoric and Romano-British 'Celtic' fields. Earthwork (d) extends across the greater part of the field
area in the W. At the N. it survives as an unploughed
ditch, 30 ft. to 60 ft. across and 5 ft. deep below its W.
lip; there is little sign of a bank. The ditch is interrupted
by a narrow gap at the angle, facing the head of a
gentle re-entrant. In its S. parts the earthwork appears
as a much-ploughed low ditch, about 25 ft. or more
across, with traces of a bank on one side or the other.
Beyond this, almost levelled field lynchets extend N.,
one pair spaced 40 yds. apart. Other features may be
contemporary with the fields. In the S.E. a flat-bottomed
area (x), some 2 ft. deep, is approached by four linear
hollows on alignments comparable with those of the
fields; a small elongated mound about 2 ft. high lies
centrally in the sunken area. About 1,000 ft. S.E. of (x),
a low wide bank extending the line of the lane S.W.
from Cadmoor is thought by Dr. Webster to be part
of a Roman road which thereafter continues S.W.,
flanking The Grove plantation.
Some 200 yds. N.N.W. of (1) a small undated enclosure (c) is defined by a slight bank, up to 1½ ft.
high above an external ditch; it lies in an area without
field boundaries at the head of a shallow lateral reentrant from Cadmoor. Other earth-works in the
park are later, or probably later, than the fields. They
include certain banks and ditches crossing the fields, and
many roughly circular low mounds. These most
probably have to do with trees and are omitted from
N.M.R., OAP SP 0706/2/476–98; 0806/9/386; 0806/16/461–
75. Plan and details supplied by Mr. P. J. Fowler.
(3) ? Enclosure (SP 093053), undated, seen as a cropmark near Poultmoor Farm, 1,500 yds. S.E. of (1), lies
on the E. side of a stream flowing along a shallow bottom. There is an entrance in the S.E. side and a broad
way appears to pass its N. side.
N.M.R., OAP SP 0905/3/390–2.
(4) Probable Settlement (SP 097052), undated, seen
as a crop-mark ¼ mile S.E. of (3), lies around Furzey
Furlong Barn covering perhaps 2 acres (Plate 55). An
entrance occurs towards the N. end of the E. side. The
earthwork is associated with other ditches of irregular
pattern. The nearly level site falls gently westwards.
N.M.R., OAP SP 0905/1/395–6.
(5) Probable Settlement (SP 096049), undated, seen
as crop-marks on flat ground 200 yds. S.E. of (4), lies
just N. of the Welsh Way and has an entrance in the
S.E. side. There are other ditches, one intersecting the
N.M.R., OAP SP 0905/2/393–4.