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Somerset Historic Environment Record

15681

Site Name: Excavation (1927-8), Westland, Yeovil
Civil Parish: Yeovil
Part of:
PRN 54751Roman town or villa, Westland, Yeovil
Grid Ref: ST 549 157 (ST 51 NW)
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Public access:

It is unlikely that there is anything to see unless this event took place on a site (see link above) where there may be details of access. Otherwise please assume that the site is on private land. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]

Details:

Following the discovery of a coin hoard and Roman pavement (PRN 15678) further excavations at Westland (PRN 54751) were undertaken in 1927-8 by Raleigh Radford. Six buildings were excavated, grouped around a courtyard 200ft by 170ft, and the rooms were numbered consecutively. The buildings were not one courtyard house as three of the buildings were independent from the others. Excavation done by trial trenches.

Building 1: Dwelling with L-shaped plan. Rooms 1-4 and 6-9 were all paved with plain or geometrically patterned mosaics. Room 6 had what was interpreted as a stone bench but more likely that it was the base of an unknown structure. Room 8 had a small apse with a stone base which was probably an altar.

Building 2: small rectangular building on the N side of the courtyard. Likely to be part of a larger complex - a mosaic floor was discovered but the excavation was only limited. Possible that this building was independent of buildings 1 and 3.

Building 3: NE of courtyard. SE end not excavated. May have had a basilica form since the two interior N-S walls were each the same distance from the external walls. All rooms had mosaic floors except two, one of which contained a furnace.

Building 4: SE corner of courtyard. Not examined in detail. Possibly part of a bath block associated with building 3 for room 2 consisted of a plastered plunge bath with a drain to the S.

Building 5: S side of courtyard. Fronted onto a road. Five separate rooms without connecting corridor. Room 26 was likely to be a cellar. Well finished house with mosaic or yellow cement floors.

Building 6: Not completely excavated. At the E end was a large hall, probably with an agricultural or industrial function, but at the W end there were two small rooms with mosaic floors which could have been a wing projecting to the N alongside the road.

Under the foundations of room 23 a rough stone hearth was uncovered, together with three iron arrowheads, several flint flakes, and some late Roman and C1BC pottery, suggesting a hut of the early Iron age. {1}

Copy of Radford's trench plan for NW area. {2}

Much of the site had already been exposed when Radford took over the excavations and the locations of his trenches were partly conditioned by spoil heaps. {3}

References:

1 Excavation report - Radford, CAR. Roman site at Westland, Yeovil. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History.  74 (1928), 122-143
2 Measured plan - Somerset County Council. copy of Radford plan. Drawing HBC 5/119/3. Location: HER collections
3 Correspondence - Radford, CAR [Ralegh] to Somerset County Council. (29/9/1990) Location: HER files
4 Museum accession number - Archive could not be located. Stored at Unknown museum.

Record created on 14 November 2002

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