A Roman Villa at the Edge of Empire Excavations at Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, 2003–04

IA cover Located on the south side of the River Tees, in north-east England, the Roman villa at Ingleby Barwick is one of the most northerly in the Roman Empire. Discovered originally through aerial photography and an extensive programme of evaluation, the site was excavated in 2003-04 in advance of housing development. Unusually for the region, the site demonstrated evidence for occupation from the later prehistoric period through to the Anglo-Saxon. The excavations at Ingleby Barwick are significant not only for their scale but also for being carried out under modern recording conditions, allowing for extensive and detailed analysis of the finds. The villa is also a rare example of a Roman civilian site in the hinterland of Hadrian’s Wall.

The Roman winged corridor villa and its outlying stone structures were surrounded by an extensive layout of rectilinear enclosures. While the main villa building was preserved in situ, excavation of the surrounding area revealed features such as ovens and paved surfaces, as well as rare finds such as a glass tableware vessel probably from Egypt and a large hoard of metalwork. The pottery has allowed a detailed phasing of the site to be proposed, while the environmental evidence reveals the villa to have been a working farm. As the publication of the first modern excavation of a Roman villa in the north of England, this book will be essential reading for all Roman specialists. The continuity of settlement found at the site, from prehistory to the Anglo-Saxon period, will make it of great interest to all those working or researching in North-east England. At the same time, it is a fascinating read for all archaeologists, be they professional, students or interested amateurs.


  1. Most northerly excavated villa in Roman Empire
  2. First modern excavation of a villa site in northern England
  3. Rare example in northern England of continuity into the Anglo-Saxon period
  4. Detailed phasing of site based on pottery


Steven Willis is a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Kent. He studied at Essex and Durham Universities before taking up his post at Kent in 2004. His main areas of expertise include the archaeology of settlement, society and material culture in the Iron Age and Roman era in western Europe, and the ceramics of these societies, particularly samian ware.

Peter Carne is the Manager of Archaeological Services at Durham University. He has directed numerous important excavations in recent years, particularly in the North East region.

Info: 244pp, 93 figs including colour
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Steven Willis

Peter Carne

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