Bignor Roman Villa

Bignor Roman Villa © David Gill
Bignor Roman Villa © David Gill

The Roman villa lies to the north of the South Downs in Sussex. It was discovered in 1811 and by 1814 the site was attracting large numbers of visitors. The villa contains a series of fine mosaics protected by a series of thatched buildings.


Our earliest guide dates to October 1975. It consists of 16 pages, following a tour of the site using the plan that appears in the centre (pp. 8-9). There are simple line drawings in the text.


We also have a guide book undated, with an image of the 1812 drawing of the Venus mosaic on the cover. It contains a history of the excavations, and a ‘walk around guide and description’. It is complete with plans and colour images, as well as a colour reconstruction.


The latest guide (again undated) is essentially a revised version of the previous one. There is an additional section on ‘Farming & Countryside’, as well as a page of the ‘Covering Buildings’ constructed to protect the remains in the early 19th century, and a section on the educational programme of the villa.

For other guidebooks to Roman villas see Lullingstone, North Leigh, and Welwyn.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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