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fine plaster, of which many fragments were found. The corridors seem to have been of much larger dimensions at this villa than any previously discovered in this island. The Colonnade, or Portico, extended 150 feet on the northern side, and 100 feet on the western side, and was found to be 10 feet wide, making an ambulatio of 227 feet in extent. In one of the rooms on the western side, 17 feet by 14 feet 6 inches in dimension, was an open fire-place about 22 inches in width : in another room was also an open fire-place, but of smaller size. No fire-place of this kind had been elsewhere discovered in the remains of a Roman villa ; and here no chimney, by which the smoke might have been conveyed away, was found.
At Colesbourn, near Northleach in Gloucestershire, Mr. Lysons discovered the remains of a villa in which was a room not paved with mosaic, but, what is remarkable, nearly the whole of what remained of the wall on one side was covered with painting on fine plaster. This is believed to be the only fragment of the kind hitherto discovered in this island in its original position.
On the lower part of the wall several figures and parts of a building, rather rudely executed, were distinctly to be traced : beneath, a representation of a sort of curtain, of an orange colour, extended to the bottom of the wall. The remains of which this room formed a part, are imagined to be the site of a villa of a Roman of some rank and authority in the neighbouring station Corinium, now Cirencester, which is supposed to have been built by Vespasian, and is situated on the river Churn at the meeting of the Foss-way, Akeman Street and Iknield Street. Near Colesbourn, the Roman road has a curious appearance, from the undeviating line which it pursues'.
At Withington, about nine miles from the
1 The Roman roads in England were elevated with surprising labour to the height of ten feet, and sometimes even more: they were formed of materials often brought from a considerable distance, such as chalk, pebbles, and gravel ; and the most important were paved with stones, which are visible to this day.
same station, and about fourteen miles from Glevum, or Gloucester, the remains of another villa were discovered in the year 1811. The very curious mosaic pavement found here is now open to public inspection in the British Museum'.
The design of this pavement exhibits an allegorical subject more frequently introduced than any other in works of this kind,—the poet Orpheus with his lyre, in the act of charming with a magic spell the beasts of the forest by which he is surrounded. Three pavements containing the same subject, the great era of music, had already been discovered in England' ; but in neither of them were the
i It was presented to the British Museum by Henry Charles Brooke, Esq., the proprietor of the estate on which it was found.
2 At Woodchester in Gloucestershire, and at Horkstow and Winterton in Lincolnshire. Horkstow, the seat of Admiral Shirley, is within a short distance of the Roman road leading from Lindum, or Lincoln, to the Humber; and Winterton is considered to be the Ad Abum of the Romans.
animals, the subjects of the laws of harmony,
In the same national collection of anti-
A Roman tessellated pavement, found below
See Archæologia, vol. xviii. for interesting particulars
? The most common mark left by the Romans in all
Many other discoveries made in Britain regarding this extraordinary people might be mentioned, such as images of the gods, various utensils belonging to their worship, and relics
places which had been once within the bounds of their empire, is their coins : these are continually discovered, and in various kinds of receptacles. The opinions of antiquaries are divided in assigning a cause for what may seem so useless a waste of money : but it is to be considered that most of the coins thus found are of little intrinsic value ; and it has been conjectured that the barbarians who destroyed the towns or villas did not know, or despised the use of copper money, and therefore left it amongst the ruins. The Roman coins found are chiefly copper, bad and worn, and they are generally scattered equally over the surface of the ruins of the town: thus at Castor in Norfolk, the ancient Venta Icenorum, it is said they may be found after every shower. It is also an opinion that it was customary to bury money. Horace hints at this usual secretion of treasure :
But prithee, whence the pleasure, thus by stealth
Lib. i. sat, 1. Coins, as well as seals and medals, besides exhibiting specimens of their peculiar art, mark the progress of architecture, the different stages of which are seen also in the varied structure of sepulchral monuments; and while