Talk: Thursday 18 January 2018, 7.30 pm, at the Tony Cooper Suite, Cottenham Village College.

The Bedford Roman Villa Project: community archaeological investigations at Manton Lane and its Roman setting by Mike Luke

Doors open 7.15 pm; meeting begins 7.30 pm


This talk will describe the discovery and give an account of the investigations to date of a possible Roman villa at Manton Lane, Bedford. Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding its discovery it has only been examined in a piecemeal manner by a mix of professional and community-lead projects.

The recovered evidence indicates that the site contains masonry buildings with painted walls, glazed windows and at least one room which featured an underfloor heating system (hypocaust). In addition, the presence of stucco work, a rare type of decorative moulding found at only a handful of Roman sites in Britain, including Fishbourne Roman Palace, suggests that at least one of the buildings had elaborate internal decoration. Surprisingly, very few villas have been found in the Bedford area and possible reasons for this will be discussed in the talk.

Mike Luke of Albion Archaeology provided professional help and guidance to the project. He spoke to FEAG about ‘Life in the Biddenham Loop’ in January 2013.


Note: The Tony Cooper Suite is in the sixth form block behind the main school.

Our speaker meetings are open to everyone. Admission: Members £2; Non-members £3.



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