The Piddington Roman Villa is both one of the longest running excavations in Britain – now in its 33rd year – and also a fine example of a Roman villa.
It is essentially the classic winged corridor villa with the main suite of rooms being fronted by a corridor. However the wings at either end form a another two suites of rooms so that it becomes virtually a courtyard villa – evidence for the garden in the courtyard has been excavated. There is a small bathhouse in the main villa itself and a larger bathhouse behind the East Wing.
The villa was excavated in the 1980s and 1990s and has now been backfilled. The current excavations are on the other side of the stream, where further buildings are being excavated together with evidence for a possible military installation. Iron Age roundhouses were discovered under the villa itself, giving evidence for early for an original Iron Age occupation.
The villa also has a museum in the village of Piddington itself, a mile away from the excavations. This was originally a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel which by the 1990s had become disused, and so the Upper Nene Archaeological Society was able to purchase it and with the help of a lottery grant had turned it into a museum and workshop where the finds from the excavation are stored and processed. It also provides a well used facility for local schoolchildren.
It will be possible to visit both the museum and the excavations after the conference.