Page images
[merged small][graphic]

3. A long room, 38 ft. 2 in. by 10 ft., paved throughout with tiles. Upon the east and south walls portions of plaster remained, decorated with fresco painting. In the west wall were four flue tiles at intervals, and there were two placed one above another in both the north and east walls. The entrance to this room was from No. 2, the opening being 4 ft. 3 in. wide.

4. A small chamber, 10 ft. 3 in. by 8 ft., entered from No. 3, with two flue tiles above each other in the east wall. This room was paved with tiles and the walls painted.

On examination of the smoke flues in Nos. 2, 3, and 4, it was ascertained that there was no communication with them below the existing floor line. It was clearly seen that at some period an alteration had been made here, as the hypocaust which originally existed under these three rooms had been entirely filled in and a new floor laid.

At the time we were at work it was not possible to ascertain the exact position of the archway which led into the old hypocaust, but after the frost had split the plaster from the walls the crown of the arch was disclosed at the base of the south wall of the stokehole (No. 1), as indicated by the arrow, proving that this stokehole served for two hypocausts. When the filling in took place, to which we have referred, the stokehole seems to have been filled up at the same time, level with the tiled floor beyond, thus effectually rendering useless the hypocaust of No. 6.

5. A room, 15 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft. It possessed a red tesselated floor which had collapsed into the hypocaust. The floor was suspended on fifty-two columns or pile of tiles more or less perfect, as will be seen by referring to Plate A. The pile were built of tiles 8 inches square, and where intact measured 17 inches in height. They were placed about 10 inches apart. Upon each column was a tile 11 inches square, and upon these were laid tiles 15 inches in length by 11 inches in width, which reached from column to column; thus when complete the hypocaust was covered in with a layer of tiles. Above this came a bed of fine cement, 5 inches thick, liberally mixed with pounded tile, then a further layer, 14 in. thick, of still finer cement, with a greater proportion of pounded tile, in which were embedded red tessera of an inch thick and an inch square. The total thickness of this floor, including the tiles upon which it lay, was 9 inches. In both the south and east walls of the room two smoke flues remain, there being a pair of flue tiles in each case. The apartment was adorned with fresco painting, as several fragments of coloured plaster were found when clearing it out. The entrance to it must have been through the west wall, which was

demolished to the floor line together with the archway of the hypocaust. Of the latter something more will be said when treating of No. 9.

6. Room, 10 ft. 4 in. by 9 ft. 5 in. (Plate B). In consequence of its perfect state this apartment is the most instructive in the villa. The walls were painted, and the floor was paved with white concrete composed of lime, sand, and small pebbles, with a half-round skirting of cement mixed with pounded tile. As there was a hypocaust under this chamber the floor was cut out in order to shew the construction. It was found to be suspended on thirty-four flue tiles which had been filled with clay, pieces of chalk, and tile to give them greater stability. These flue tiles were 16 in. in height, their orifices being 4 in. by 2 in. Each was placed on a tile 11 in. by 12 in., bedded on a prepared base. Each flue tile was capped with a tile 11 in. by 12 in., upon which rested, from column to column, tiles 1 ft. 5 in. by 12 in. Then came a layer of concrete 3 in. thick, giving a total thickness to the floor of 5 in.

The natural chalk forming the walls of the hypocaust had been cut out a few inches from the bottom to admit of the insertion of 2, 3, and 4 courses of paving tiles which formed the support for the margin of the floor. In the north wall of the room, near the corners, were two drain pipes, 19 in. in length and 2 in. in diameter, serving the purpose of smoke flues; there were two in the south wall also, one on the west side of the doorway, the other in the west corner. At the bases of three of the flue pipes there remained in situ the short cylindrical pipes, 4 in. in diameter, which conducted the fumes from the furnace into them.

In the north wall was the space for the window, 3 ft. 3 in. from the floor, the splayed cill being 3 ft. wide and quite perfect. The doorway of the room, as in No. 2, had been filled up with two courses of short flue tiles laid horizontally, with paving tiles set in herringbone courses above. When the entrances of these rooms were blocked the door-posts had evidently not been withdrawn, hence their decay explains the gap, 4 in. wide, on either side of the closed doorway, which is clearly seen in the engraving. The block in the entrance was 2 ft. 11 in. high by 2 ft. 9 in. wide.

In early days, after the villa became a ruin, this chamber appeared to have been used as a shelter by the wayfarer. On the floor was a circular burnt patch where fires had been continually ignited, so often indeed that a hole was burnt completely through the hard concrete. Below this hole the writer found potsherds, bones, and the skull of a dog. When clearing out the hypocaust we

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »