A Gallo-Roman villa in
the vicinity of Bauselenne. The ruins were badly disturbed in the Middle Ages during the construction of the neighboring abbeys of Fosses, Brogne, and Oignies. Much of their building material came from the villa.
In spite of this, excavations have yielded the plan of
the villa and its subsidiary buildings. The central building, of the same type as the villas of Maillen-Al Sauvenière, Maillen Ronchinnes, and Jemelle, is rectangular and ca. 90 m long with two porticos that extend along
the entire length of the NE and SW facades; a series
of rooms open onto these porticos. The rooms had
concrete paving and some were heated with a hypocaust.
Apparently, these were the residential quarters. Two
walls extend the lateral facades and enclose a garden
with a pool in the middle. Against the NE wall of this
garden was a rectangular building that opened onto a
second enclosure and probably served as a stable or
sheepfold. On the other side of the residential quarters,
to the S, a series of buildings arranged around a third
rectangular enclosure included a complete bath building, an ironworks, a stable, and barns. A portico that extends along one side of the brewery is built as an exact prolongation of the SW portico of the dwelling.
The whole complex covers an area of ca. 10 ha. The
villa was provided with water from springs located
more than 2 km away. The water, brought by an aqueduct, poured off into five successive pools located some distance apart from one another along the whole length of the aqueduct. The conduits of the aqueduct were
largely underground and were sloped to render the flow
as regular as possible.
In spite of the disturbance of the site during the
Middle Ages, the finds indicate the prosperity of this
farming estate. The walls of some rooms were covered
with slabs of native, French, and Italian marble. The
beginning of the villa goes back to the first half of the
1st c. A.D. It probably suffered under Marcus Aurelius
during the invasions of the Chauci in 171-74. It resumed
operation, however, and lasted until ca. 270 when it
was pillaged during one of the invasions of the Franks.
The site was not reoccupied in the 4th c.
R. De Maeyer, De Romeinsche Villa's
(1937) passim, esp. pp. 99-103 & 195-200P
De Overblijfselen der Romeinsche Villa's in België
S. J. DE LAET