Groundwell Ridge Villa (English Heritage)
In 2003 excavations by English Heritage Centre for Archaeology (CfA) and Swindon Borough Council (SBC) demonstrated that it was possible for SBC to build the cycleways and footpaths required by the original planning consent without damaging significant archaeology. The cycleways are now in place.
A schools visit to Groundwell Ridge In 2004 CfA and SBC ran a Community Archaeology Project over June and July. Our main objective of the 2004 project was to dig part of one of the buildings that was damaged in 1996 when the site was discovered by developers and was the subject of a small trial trench in 1997.
The 1996 recording of the damaged site and the 1997 trial excavations were undertaken by local archaeologists Bryn Walters and Bernard Phillips working with volunteers. Volunteer involvement was again the key to success in 2004. A team of professional archaeologists working alongside and training local people in archaeological techniques.
Excavating a feature at Groundwell Ridge We excavated a 20x25m area over a building that we know was rebuilt at least once and was occupied from the second century AD until around AD 300. The work in 1996/7 demonstrated that it included an under-floor heating system and a possible plunge bath. It might be a bath house, or it could be a well-appointed domestic building with its own bath suite. In addition the area has produced tesserae, small cubes from a mosaic pavement or decorated floor.
In addition we opened a trench over what may be a Roman road that runs east-west along the main terrace that crosses the western part of the site.
- English Heritage