Villa, located about a mile west of Verulamium (St. Albans),
evolved on the site of a simple Iron Age farmstead whose rectangular wooden
house was burned in 60 CE, perhaps during the Boudican Revolt.
By 100 CE a new a masonry villa with an unusual, apsed main room
above a cellar, had risen in its place.
a wall, a ditch enclosed this villa's farmstead and its two
courtyards. The inner courtyard was the site of the villa
farmhouse, while the outer courtyard held several outbuildings,
including a bath suite and an aisled hall.
avenue led across a causeway over the ditch, through an impressive gate on the east side of the
inner courtyard, and ended at the main entrance of the
house. This path was paralleled on its northern edge by a line
of trees or shrubs, evidenced by a row of planting holes spaced
about 15 feet apart and filled
with richer soil.
More rows of
evenly spaced holes suggest the presence of arbors or trellised
plant supports in front of the southeast corner of the house.
These date to the early 100s CE, and were contemporary with the
villa. By the end of the second century, these garden features had been
removed, and new paths and tracks had been created.
Excavation of the Iron Age, Roman and Medieval Settlement at
Gorhambury, St. Albans, D.S. Neal, DS, et al.
Food and Farming, St. Alban's Museum - Artist's rendering of Gorhambury villa
Gardens of Roman Britain, W.F. Jashemski (English
Heritage Report 14, London, 1990)
Gorhambury, A. Selkirk (Current Archaeology
The Roman House in Britain,