Chedworth Roman Villa is a Roman villa located near Chedworth, Gloucestershire, England. It is one of the largest Roman villas in Britain. The villa was built in phases from the early 2nd century to the 4th century, with the 4th century construction transforming the building into an elite dwelling arranged around three sides of a courtyard. The 4th century building included a heated and furnished west wing containing a dining-room (triclinium) with a fine mosaic floor, as well as two separate bathing suites ? one for damp-heat and one for dry-heat. The villa was discovered in 1864, and it was excavated and put on display soon afterwards. It was acquired in 1924 by the National Trust who have conducted a long-term conservation programme, with new on-site facilities and cover-buildings. It is debated amongst historians whether Chedworth was indeed a farm or in fact a religious hostel, as evidence has been found in support of both arguments. However most currently believe that Chedworth was a private farmstead, inhabited by a very wealthy Romano-Briton. It is a Scheduled monument.
The villa stands in a sheltered, but shady, position overlooking the River Coln in the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire. It was located just off the Roman road known as the Fosse Way, and 8 miles (13 km) north of the important town of Corinium Dobunnorum (Cirencester). Cirencester’s reputation as a center of tribal government and a civitas capital led to quick Romanization of the area, and supplied wealth to many of the elites. Though lesser in importance, the Roman town of Glevum (Gloucester) – 14 miles (22 km) from it – also impacted Chedworth. It was one of about fifty villas in the Cotswolds, and one of nine in just a 5 mile (8 km) radius. The villa was located next to a natural spring in the north west corner of the complex, which was the villa’s main source of water, and which was where the inhabitants built an apsidal shrine to the water-nymphs (nymphaeum).