The Larkfield Society

Where memories are recalled

Roman Villa, Ecclesia

Eccles Roman Villa Fig1It is the site of a Roman villa estate and pottery kiln, excavated between 1962 and 1976. It replaced an Iron Age settlement, and was occupied until the end of Roman rule. The name “Eccles” comes from the Latin word “ecclesia” meaning church, suggestions that a post-Roman Christian community existed in the village beyond the Roman withdrawal and into the Saxon period are conjecture.
The name likely comes from its proximity to the Carmelite Monastery in Aylesford. The area was merely known as ‘Bull Lane’ until the mid-19th century.
Also, a cemetery was found with six skeletons all of whom showed injuries caused by weapons. Three had single long sword cuts to the left side of the skull. The other three had multiple injuries – one had been hit three times on the left side of the skull, another had been hit in the spine by a projectile, either an arrow or a javelin, which probably disabled him and a single sword cut to the head. (information from British Archaeology, Sept 1999)


130a_Fig_2_Eccles_Villa_-_Bath_plan_1962 fig 2 134a_Fig_4_Eccles_Roman_Villa_-_Bath_plan fig 4 132a_Fig_3_Eccles_Roman_Villa_-_Sections_through_Bath fig 3







On present evidence, it is quite clear that this site is occupied by a large Romano-British villa, which remained in occupation from the early years of the Roman conquest to the end of the Romano-British period. No evidence has so far been forthcoming for any pre- or post-Roman occupation of the site.
This villa would appear to be at the centre of a large estate, with at least one other building known to have existed in its immediate vicinity.
There are signs that the villa was also the centre for some unspecified industrial activity, but much further work is needed before anything at all can be said about the economic background of the villa.

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