By 300 CE, the
Roman villa at Latimer, once an Iron Age farm, had developed into a corridor villa
that bounded the western end of a large, rectangular courtyard. This
courtyard also enclosed two smaller outbuildings to the south.
The courtyard was walled,
and in the center of the eastern wall was a sturdy gate though which
passed a banked, paved road. This road bisected the
courtyard and continued on to the main entrance of the house. A planting
hole suggests that the gate may have been flanked by a tree on at least
The courtyard was divided roughly into quadrants:
northwest and southwest portions of the courtyard were
gardens, divided by the road that ended at the front door.
The southeast quadrant contained planting beds made up of six
parallel bedding trenches, each about 20’ long. This area was bisected
by a broad path leading south from the main roadway to the outbuildings
in the southeast corner of the courtyard. Stake holes found around these
that these gardens were fenced.
area in the northeast quadrant may have been an orchard.
Archaeologists found iron knives, pruning
tools, and spade shoes at Latimer, much like these found at
Spade with iron tip, or "shoe"