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KINGSWESTON Bristol, England.

Near Avonmouth, ca. 7.2 km from the city center. Substantial remains of the moderate-sized, stone, late 3d c. Roman villa were excavated in 1948-50. The finds are in the City Museum, Bristol.

The site, at the landward edge of the alluvial plain of the Severn, with a steep limestone ridge rising to the S, is ca. 2.4 km from the small town of Abone (Sea Mills), which probably served as the market of the villa. Three or four buildings and scattered occupation E and W of the site perhaps mark tenant farms. The villa probably originated in the 2d c.; remains (now covered) immediately W of the visible building are incompletely known, but were used as farm buildings in the 4th c.

The main block of the house was destroyed when a new road was built, leaving an E and W wing (each ca. 15 x 6 m) connected by a colonnade (later an arcade) containing the central main entrance and looking N on a courtyard (ca. 16.5 x 7.5 m). Flanking the W wing is a small bath suite of four rooms and lobby. The baths and wing rooms had geometric mosaics: two in the baths and one in the W wing are preserved under a roof, but another in the W wing belonged to a villa excavated at Brislington, Bristol, in 1899. The inserted composite hypocaust in the E wing is a good example; in it the skeleton of a man slain in Post-Roman times was discovered. The monolithic thresholds of several rooms, grooved for stone jambs, are noteworthy, as are fragments of chip-carved side tables preserved with other Bath stone material on the site.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

G. C. Boon, excavation report, Trans. Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch. Soc. 69 (1950) 5-58PI; guidebook, id., Kings Weston Roman Villa (1967)PI.

G. C. BOON

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