Bignor Roman Villa


Model of Bignor Roman Villa

This evening, I am providing summary information on Bignor Roman Villa which is situated about 10 miles from Chichester (formerly Roman Noviomagus Regnensium) in southern England.

  • First discovered in 1811 and excavated 1812-1819 the 1920s then 1956-62,.
  • Earliest phase dates from first century AD comprising a farmstead with a ditched enclosure. The first stone built house was a simple building constructed in mid third century and comprised only four rooms. Extended in late third century with addition of hypocaust (central heating), a portico, more rooms and impressive facade. Further expansions occurred comprising north and south wings, a new gate in the east wall and enlarged baths.
  • This may have been the high status home of a family or extended family which had grown wealthy from farming. Location close to Stane Street which linked the villa with Noviomagus Regnensium was probably intended to impress passers-by.
  • In its final form Bignor Roman Villa was one of the largest in Britain covering nearly two hectares.
  • The mosaics on display date mainly from the fourth century and represent some of the finest in the country.

Geometric Mosaic.

Ornamental Water Basin

Venus inspired mosaic design in floor supported by hypocaust heating system.

Mosaic featuring gladiator design. Here the secutor and retiarius fighting across the top of a stone containing a large ring to which unwilling apprentices were tied.

Example of underfloor heating system

View of Villa and Visitor Centre


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