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and more than 12 ft. deep, may be the weathered cone of a large collapsed well. We have begun the excavation of the entrance; here a complicated series of intersecting pits suggests a simple gateway rebuilt more than once and finally robbed. The ruts we found were those of farm waggons probably housed in the aisled building, whose blocked doorway had once been large enough to allow them through. So far there has been no trace of a track leading to the main road, route 45a from Winchester to Sarum, which passed close to the villa.

There is plenty of evidence for the structure of the buildings. The roofs were of Purbeck stone slates, apparently worked on the site, con­

ventional brick tiles and presumably—where evidence was lacking

— thatched. Bricks, flue tiles and large ridge tiles of an unusual form were rare, but were made locally in a brickworks employing at least eight workmen, each of whom 'signed' his work with an individual scribble or swirl with his comb or bare finger. For the corners of buildings, the quoins had been quarried in the Isle of Wight. Walls were of flint, on the whole, with chalk for internal walls, and string courses not of brick, but of shaped stone; externally they were rendered with mortar, internally painted and plastered with ambitious but gaudy geometrical (and perhaps even figured) designs. When part of the aisled building was con­

verted into a small bath suite, hot air and gases were led over the barrel vaults in special hollow brick voussoirs. These, too, are rare, but were used also at Silchester ; they were laid in series, not side by side as at Bath (see the cover picture of Current Archaeology 10). The half domes were made of tufa, for lightness and good insulation. For insulation, too, the windows of hot rooms here and in the main house were glazed.

However, although we know so much about the appearance of the villa, its history continues to elude us. For such a rich site, small finds have been comparatively rare ; pottery is neither plentiful nor precisely datable, much of it coming from the New Forest where dating

15

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