Bignor Roman Villa
The Roman Era
Title: Bignor Roman Villa
Description: Containing one piece of mosaic that is 80 yards (24 metres) long, the Roman Villa found at Bignor in 1811 is one of the largest to be discovered in Britain to date. Probably dating from the second century AD with an enclosed courtyard covering 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares), principal rooms in the north corridor contain spectacular mosaics showing scenes depicting gladiators, Venus and Medusa.
Address: , Bignor, Nr Pulborough, West Sussex
Post Code: RH20 1PH
George Tupper discovered the Roman Villa at Bignor, which probably dates from the second century, in 1811 when, while ploughing a field, he unearthed a mosaic pavement. Excavations started soon afterwards, revealing one of the largest villas found in Britain to date.
An enclosed courtyard has been found that covers an area of 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares), plus principal rooms in the north corridor that contain spectacular mosaics. In the Ganymede room, two circular mosaics can be seen (one 7 feet 6 inches or 2.3 metres in diameter and the other 16 feet or 4.9 metres). The smaller of the two has a picture of an eagle carrying Ganymede off to become cupbearer to Zeus; the larger mosaic features a number of dancing nymphs. The remains of the rooms central heating systems can be seen in the middle of this larger piece. Another piece of mosaic has been discovered that is 80 yards (24 metres) long, while others show scenes depicting gladiators, Venus and Medusa.
The site is still part of the surrounding farmland and the mosaics are protected by thatched huts.