A very significant Roman discovery was made at the location of a new housing development in Eastfield which is close to Scarborough, England. This marks the first time that a “high-status” Roman villa and bath-house have ever been discovered in Britain and perhaps even the entire Roman Empire.
After Historic England claimed that there may be Iron Age or Roman remains at the Keepmoat Homes site, excavations took place and they were correct with their suggestion as the ancient villa and bath-house were unearthed.
They found a large area that had several buildings which included a central room laid out in a circle with numerous rooms and a bath-house leading off of it. It is believed that it was once a “high-status” Roman villa or perhaps a religious sanctuary (or maybe both).
The development project has been halted and the houses will no longer be built on the site as it is now being preserved. Historic England will request that site be protected as a scheduled monument (this is an important historical or archaeological site that is protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979).
Keith Emerick, who is an inspector of ancient monuments, stated how significant this discovery is, “These archaeological remains are a fantastic find and are far more than we ever dreamed of discovering at this site. They are already giving us a better knowledge and understanding of Roman Britain. We are grateful to Keepmoat Homes for their sensitive and professional approach to helping ensure the future conservation of this important historical site.”
Furthermore, whoever built this “high-status” villa surely knew what they were doing as Karl Battersby, who is the corporate director for business and environmental services at North Yorkshire County Council, explained, “Work by local archaeologists has already established the buildings were designed by the highest quality architects available in northern Europe during the era and constructed by the finest craftsmen.”
The area in which it was discovered is a bit peculiar as it was built pretty far from other Roman centers except for a Roman signal station that was believed to have been located near Scarborough. Needless to say, it was incredibly surprising that such a significant villa was unearthed at the site. Further archaeological work will be conducted to better understand this significant Roman find.
Pictures of the site can be seen here.