BISLEY WITH LYPIATT
(8 miles W.N.W. of Cirencester)
A Dobunnic gold coin inscribed Comvx is recorded
from the parish. (fn. 1)
Roman altars and votive plaques have been found in
such numbers as to suggest a religious centre or centres. (fn. 2)
Finds have come from two sites about 1½ miles apart.
In c. 1861 an altar of equestrian Mars and one of Silvanus
or a native counterpart, and a plain fragment, were dug
from under the S.W. corner of the tower of St. Mary's
church, together with calcined stone; Roman pottery
was later reported from the churchyard. (fn. 3) At Custom
Scrubs (about SO 894081) quarrying of 'Roman Tump'
c. 1800 revealed gabled reliefs of a genius and of Mars,
both with cornucopiae and both inscribed, the first
Marti Ollvdio. (fn. 4) An uninscribed relief of a warrior with
a shield was found c. 1851. (fn. 5) Another altar, with a ramheaded serpent, is believed to have been found on the
Lypiatt estate. (fn. 6) Six further altars, said to have been
recovered from a mound on 'Bisley Common', are
probably from Chalford (q.v.).
Bibury. (2) Roman Villa near Bibury Mill.
A Roman coin and a brooch have been found in a
field about 500 yds. S.E. of villa (1), about SO 916040. (fn. 7)
Monuments in Bisley With Lypiatt.
'The Trench', SO 929046, extensively quarried, is
basically a geological phenomenon.
Bisley With Lypiatt. (1) Roman Villa, Lillyhorn.
(1) Roman Villa (SO 91320438), Lillyhorn, Bournes
Green, discovered and partly dug by T. Baker in 1841–5,
lay in the N. half of an arable field called Church Piece,
which slopes gently W. from the present Oakridge—
Bisley road towards the steep scarp edge at 700 ft. above
O.D.; it is now almost obliterated. The villa extended
over the entire width of the field, covering about 3
acres. Some rooms were only partly cleared by Baker
and large areas were investigated by random probing.
The whole site has been very extensively robbed, much
Roman building material being incorporated in the
field walls. A mound (2) containing Roman debris and
burials lies just W. of the villa site, below the scarp edge.
The spring-line is 150 ft. below this, at the head of a
No mosaic patterns survived. Wall plaster, window
glass, large iron nails, hexagonal stone tiles and tiles
stamped TPFA, TPFC and TPFP were noted.
There were two 'stone bases', on natural soil
where the floor was broken in room 12. The
wall bounding the complex on S. was 5 ft.
thick; that on W., 4 ft. thick. Pottery included samian ware. 'Implements' and animal
bones were found.
A hoard of 1,223 3rd-century coins, found
in a pot buried close to the N.E. cluster of
rooms, included 629 of the Tetrici and 353 of
Victorinus. About a third of the collection
survives in Stroud Museum. An incomplete
catalogue and notes on the dispersion of the
coins are in the Baddeley Collection, loose
paper 98, Gloucester City Library. Other
finds are in Cirencester and Stroud Museums.
Some tiles and other material are built into
a summer-house at Watercombe House (SO
Arch J, II (1845), 42–5. JBAA, I (1846), 44–5.
JBAA, II (1847), 324–7. TBGAS, XXIX (1906),
173–80. JRS, XLIV (1955), 68–72 (stamped tiles).
(2) Long Mound or Rubbish-Dump (SO
91250440), Roman, at Lillyhorn, in a plantation immediately W. of the villa (1), consists
of rubble and occupation debris in which at
least four burials had been made. The irregularly shaped mound lies N.—S., along the
slope just below the scarp edge. One of the
skeletons was female.
TBGAS, 60 (1938), 351–2. MS. notes in Stroud
(3) Probable Settlement (SO 936049),
Romano-British, N.W. of King's House, is
suggested by samian and coarse pottery,
sandstone and part of a glass bracelet found
in ploughsoil. Finds in Stroud Museum.
Archaeol. Review, 4 (1969), 38.