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Chedworth Roman Villa

Chedworth Roman Villa is the largest roman ruin within UK. It was built in the 4th century and it had a lot of additions and the very impressive roman technology.

The Villa was discovered 150 years ago by a Victorian gamekeeper. As it is so far from us, is unlikely that we’ll have a chance to visit it again during the celebrations that are organized this year.crv_01

In the background there is the Victorian Museum, built in the middle of the site.
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We’ve taken the guided tour and it was so interesting to learn so much about the Romans and their usual activities, the society and their technology. The extend of the Villa reminded me of a school trip I’ve made a little over 20 years ago to another important roman site Adamclisi, only a few miles from the town I group up in, Constanta.

The pillars are dressed every winter, to prevent the rocks to be damaged by the rain&freezing.
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This tree has an interesting story. In fact there are 2 different trees, one is native and one is American. The Victorians were interested to experiment with all sorts of things, including trees.
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The walls are Victorian, made from the stones they found on site, in the same location as the original walls were built. The roof is designed to add protection.
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The water feature was a religious site. The extend of the construction was unusual.
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These 2 cambers were adjoining the bath house. One camber was used to store wood and the other one was used to burn the wood to heat up the bath house, thru underfloor heating.
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The house doesn’t look that spectacular, but it is a state of the art conservation area. The temperature and humidity is controlled by a computer and conservationists are looking over the readings every week to see if everything is in place. The floors are hanged up from the roof.

Inside the house there is the almost 2000 years old mosaic that has to be preserved.There is more mosaic outside but it had to be covered under tarmac for protection. In the future they hope to be able to build a similar structure over. Then they can remove the tarmac and expose the mosaic.
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This tree marks where the soil was 150 years ago.
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Love the mosaic and the techniques to make it is similar to the ones used today, after 2000 years. The manufacturer placed the tiles on linen sheets. It was brought like this to the site where they rolled it over concrete. If you think, it’s like you’d buy today mosaic tiles from B&Q.
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The cold bath, the last step in the bathing process. The bathing lasted for 3 to 6 hours and it was complicated, with a lot of steps. Because the floors were so hot, from the underfloor heating, they were given wooden slippers.
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The dinning room, where they used to stay on the sofas to eat. This was big enough for only 3 sofas!
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A roman brick with a dog paw print, and considering the origins of the breed… it can be a Rottweiler paw print!! How exciting!
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It was very interesting to learn that the Romans brought their own snails too. This one is a Roman snail, a protected species. The Romans were eating the snails, having quite an interesting technique to cook them.

The snails from Chedworth were studied and the guide told us some funny facts about them. For example, they know where they live and if you through one a mile away (it’s illegal as they are protected)… the snail will come back in the same location where it was born. Tracking them by GPS revealed a lot of interesting facts, even if it doesn’t look that way for the non-biologists.
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