Lying beneath domestic gardens and the parish churchyard in the north-western part of the village of Box are the foundations of one of the largest Romano/British building complexes in the west country. Since it was discovered in 1828 sporadic investigations and archaeological digs have been undertaken. The resulting trenches were backfilled and the mosaics and hypocausts are less than half a metre under the surface. Because buildings have been built over the site, future investigations are unlikely but only recently has all the available information been consolidated into one analysis. In 2009 the Box Archaeological and Natural History Society formed the KOBRA Trust (Knowledge Of Box Roman Archaeology). The Trust has now produced an Academic Study for universities and a book for general circulation. The book ‘The Roman Villa at Box’ costs £9.95 and can be purchased at the Book Shop in Corsham and from other local book stores. (Also online at www.Amazon.co.uk )
‘The Roman Villa at Box’ is a good read lavishly illustrated in hardback. It provides answers to the many questions which the ruins create such as – why did they live here – who were they – what degree of sophisticated living did they achieve?
In order to show the reality of the ruins, the KOBRA Trust has had a large scale model constructed of the core of the complex. The model is on show in the village library within the Selwyn Hall next to the ruins. For all those interested in Romano/British history 1600 to 2000 years ago, a visit to the library is recommended. (click here for opening times)