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Great Witcombe Roman Villa

nr Gloucester, Gloucestershire

The remains of a large villa built around 250AD with a bathhouse complex and possibly a water spirit shrine which was built on the side of a hill. This 3rd century villa was large and extravagant built around three sides of a courtyard.

The closest you can get to an aerial photo without the use of a helicopter. Taken from a public footpath that runs above it.

The Octagonal Dining Room

It is thought that the villa at Witcombe formed the centre of a noblemans country estate and was approached through formal gardens which made use of natural springs breaking through the ground. Its position to the Roman town of Glevum (Gloucester) meant it was able to take advantage of the luxury goods on offer in return for agricultural produce.

Not much is know about the villa itself and is is believed the main family house was connected by a long gallery, which incorporated a dining room, to a leisure complex of exercise rooms and heated baths. Later in the 4th century it was radically modified and the dining room was rebuilt as an octagonal plan with a round projection on one side being home to a statue, at the same time it is believed the kitchen arrangements were also modified.

Further down the slope it is thought a great barn was added to accommodate the farm-workers and the leisure complex was extended to include another set of baths for the workers to use. It was finally abandoned some time in the 5th century.

For all the images here - click on the image to see a larger version.

Managed by English Heritage today - although FREE access to all.

Further information Grid



Great Witcombe Roman Villa, nr Gloucester Gloucestershire

Ceremonial County: Gloucestershire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Google Aerial Map   Multimap Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:





English Heritage page

Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations:

Chedworth Roman Villa, Gloucestershire

Cheese Rolling - Gloucestershire (Spring BH May)

Cirencester Amphitheatre, Gloucestershire    

Corinium Museum, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Other Relevant pages:

Roman Britain

Gloucestershire Attractions



Date Updated: 07/2008


Planning Grid


Great Witcombe Roman Villa, nr Gloucester Gloucestershire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Located 5 miles SE of Gloucester off A46; take the road towards Birdlip and then signposted down narrow lane on the right.

1⁄2 mile S of reservoir in Witcombe Park; 400 metres (440 yards) from Cotswold Way National Trail


Down a very long single track road - through a farm yard and on to a parking area. 300 metres from here you have to walk uphill along a drive at the top there is a gate on the left which gives access to the site on a hillside.


Free small car park. No parking in the lane or beyond the car park.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Villa remains, may be cattle and horses in the nearby fields, woods, and a large reservoir in the valley below.

What to take:


Nature highlights:

butterflies at the right time of year




GL4 8



Opening times:

Any reasonable daylight hours



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Difficult for wheelchair users as its on grass and on a hillside.
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: none specific but they can run about freely
Dogs Allowed: Yes - must be kept on leads as live stock in nearby fields

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 07/2008

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