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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.