Street Farm Roman Villa & Mosaic
Thames Valley Archaeological Services have now published the report of their excavations at
Tackley: David Sanchez, A Roman Villa at Street Farm, Tackley, Oxfordshire (TVAS
Monograph 41, 225 pp, 43 colour plates, ISBN 978-1-911228-52-3) priced £25 + P&P. They have
also published a full-colour booklet (16 pp) on the excavation: David Sanchez, Excavation
of the Roman Villa at Street Farm, Tackley, Oxfordshire (TVAS Booklet 1,
ISBN 978-1-911228-55-4) priced £5 + P&P. Both are available from us – contact the secretary Sue
Ashton at email@example.com – and from
Thames Valley Archaeological Services.
Excavations at Street Farm ended in August 2018, and David Sanchez, the archaeologist in charge
of the site for Thames Valley Archaeological Services, handed
over the last remaining area to Deanfield Homes. The site, a large Roman villa complex, turned
out to be much more important than anyone had anticipated and, as David said, it is the sort of
excavation that an archaeologist only comes across once in their professional life.
Right up to the last moment new discoveries were being made. The most important was a bath
house and a hypocaust, an underfloor central heating system, in the corner of the site between
St John’s Road and the school. This is part of a second major building, as big as the villa with
its mosaic floors, which probably extends under the gardens of the houses on St John’s road and
under the school.
In September 2019, David gave a talk to Tackley Local History Group about the villa. An audio
recording is available here.
David’s talk (MP3)
It is sad that these two-thousand-year-old buildings have now been destroyed to make way for
new houses and roads. The one consolation is that they have been fully excavated and their
complex history, with several phases of building and occupation, has been recorded.
The mosaic floor that was uncovered is going to be donated to the village so that it can be put
on public display and not left in a museum store.
A sub-committee of the parish council made up of members of the council and the history group
has been set up to take the project forward, and has now produced a feasibility study
- What are the benefits of having the mosaic in the village?
- Where would it best be located?
- How should it be conserved and protected?
- How much will it cost and how can the money be raised?
feasibility study (PDF)
Tackley’s mosaic originally measured five metres square and was in the most important room in
the villa. It has now been lifted and taken away for temporary storage. We hope that it will
come to the village in about a year and a half when the analysis of all the finds and writing-up
of the results have been completed. This gives us plenty of time to organise the project. There
is currently only one Roman mosaic on display in situ in Oxfordshire: at the
The Tackley mosaic
featured in the Oxford Times on 23 October 2018.
Open days at the Street Farm site were held in March and June 2018 and the three A1 posters
which were produced for the first of these are available to download:
If you would like more information or would like to join the project please contact Jan Read,
John Perkins, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The members of the committee are Sue Ashton, Hilary Laughton, Katy Layton-Jones, Andy Lines,
John Perkins (chair), Jan Read (secretary), Malcolm Ridout and Sue Whitaker.