Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
in the Upper Thames Valley
- Most of the Romano-British
people in the Thames Valley lived in simple farms or villages with single-roomed
houses, like they did in the Iron
- The Romans built posh rectangular farmhouses
out of stone (or at least partly of stone). They called them 'villas'. They had lots of rooms.
- There are lots of different
types of villa. The most common were:
- Cottage Villas, which were
simple rectangles. You went through each room to get to the next.
Like at Alfred's Castle in Ashbury.
- Corridor Villas, which had a
covered walkway along one side. You could use this to get to all
the rooms. Like at Barton Court Farm in Abingdon.
- Winged Corridor Villas,
which were like Corridor Villas but with two 'wings' of rooms
sticking out on each end. Like at Cox Green near Maidenhead.
- Aisled Villas, which were
like big barns, sometimes split into rooms inside. Like at Knowl
- Courtyard Villas, which had
rooms on three or four sides of a courtyard. These could be very
- Only the first four types have
been found in Berkshire. These weren't as posh as the courtyard villas
found in the counties next door, particularly in Hampshire, Wiltshire
- Some people think that the
villas in the Thames Valley were owned by the Roman government.
So the farmers had to pay lots of taxes and couldn't afford to build
- Berkshire villas still had lots of expensive Roman luxuries
- Underfloor heating systems
(called hypocausts) to keep you warm. These were often under the
dining room called a 'triclinium'.
- Window glass
- Bath houses for keeping you
clean. They were like modern steam rooms.
- Cellars, probably used for
- Mosaics were pretty patterns
or pictures on the floor made out of tiny coloured stones.
- Wall plaster painted with
colours (especially red), patterns or pictures.
- Doors with locks.
- Were there any Roman villas near