In Photos: Well-Preserved Roman Villa Found Beneath UK Home

Buried time capsule

Roman Villa

(Image credit: Past Landscapes Project)

A well-preserved Roman villa was discovered underground in southwest England, beneath homeowner Luke Irwin's property. The site is thought to be one of Britain's best-preserved Roman villas.

This is an artist's impression of how the double-courtyard villa would have appeared during its heyday in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. [Read full story about the Roman villa's discovery]

Unexpected find

Roman Villa Trench Excavations

(Image credit: Past Landscapes Project/Aerial Filming Services)

Workers uncovered a mosaic floor while digging a trench for electrical cables.

Mosaic floor

Roman Mosaic Floor

(Image credit: Luke Irwin)

The Roman-age mosaic floor was discovered by workmen digging a trench at Luke Irwin's home.

Floor fragments

Mosaic Floor Fragments

(Image credit: Luke Irwin)

Fragments from the mosaic floor that was discovered beneath Luke Irwin's property.

Digging up history

Roman Villa Trenches

(Image credit: Past Landscapes Project/Aerial Filming Services)

Archaeologists from Historic England and the Salisbury Museum conducted excavations at the villa site in Wiltshire.

Roman coin

Roman Coin

(Image credit: Luke Irwin)

One of the Roman coins found at the villa site.

Mosaic fragment

Mosaic Floor Fragment 2

(Image credit: Luke Irwin)

A close-up view of a fragment from the Roman-era mosaic floor.

Child's sarcophagus

Roman Child's Sarcophagus

(Image credit: Luke Irwin)

A Roman child's stone coffin was also found at the property. It was later used as a bed for flowers.

Roman snack

Oyster Shells

(Image credit: Jon Wilks)

Oyster shells found at the site would have been transported to the villa from the coast, 45 miles (72 kilometers) away.

Pottery pieces

Pottery Fragment

(Image credit: Jon Wilks)

Fragments of 5th-century pottery were found at the villa, offering a rare glimpse of the post-Roman period of Britain's history.

New inspiration

Rug Design Based on Mosaic Floor

(Image credit: Jon Wilks)

One of Luke Irwin's rug designs based on the Roman mosaic floor.