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Lullingstone Roman Villa
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Lullingstone Roman Villa

Last updated on
7 /10

Place overview

Lullingstone Roman Villa
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Watling Street was the main Roman road in Britannia, connecting Richborough Fort on the Kent Coast to the site of Londinium. Along this route, several Roman villas were established, including one at Lullingstone near the pleasant village of Eynsford in Kent.

The Lullingstone villa is believed to have been occupied on and off for centuries. It was initially constructed sometime around 80 AD and may have been home to a wealthy Roman or as a country retreat for the governor of Britannia.


History

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Although the initial villa was built in the 1st Century AD, the complex underwent several renovations during its lifetime. Sometime around 150 AD, a bathing room with a Roman hypocaust (underfloor heating) system was added along with extra rooms. Soon after, the villa was apparently abandoned before being refurbished in approximately 290 AD.

The villa reached its largest extent during the 3rd Century, with its own temple, a family mausoleum, a granary, and larger bathing facilities. Beautiful mosaic floors decorated the interior, especially in the dining room. Many of these still survive today.

Lullingstone appears to have been razed by a fire in the 5th Century and was abandoned. Excavations took place from 1940, uncovering one of Britain's best-preserved Roman villas. The ruins are now protected by an enclosed building.

Visiting information and tips

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The site is run by English Heritage and is closed on weekdays during the winter months. There are toilets and some self-service catering facilities, and the site is close to other local attractions such as Lullingstone Castle.

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