Bucknowle Farm

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Coordinates: 50 ° 37 '54 "  N , 2 ° 4' 35"  W.

Map: United Kingdom
Bucknowle Farm
United Kingdom

Bucknowle Farm is a Roman-British archaeological site. Bucknowle Farm is within the Civil parish of Corfe Castle , in the county of Dorset in the south of England .

Bucknowle Farmhouse, June 2014
Bucknowle House, June 2014

Bucknowle Farm is located in the middle of the Isle of Purbeck , approximately one kilometer southwest of the village of Corfe Castle and one kilometer southeast of Church Knowle . About nine kilometers west of Swanage and seven kilometers southeast of Wareham .


A number of Roman-British sites have been discovered and explored on the Isle of Purbeck. The first significant villa complex south of the Purbeck Hills was discovered with the villa complex at Bucknowle Farm. The villa was discovered on the basis of ceramic fragments found in a field in 1975. The excavations, which lasted from 1976 to the summer of 1991, uncovered a complex of buildings for servants and farms. Under the excavation area there was another more complicated housing system from the earlier Iron and Roman times.

Results of the excavations

Mesolithic to Iron Age

Some post holes and numerous flint tools date from the Mesolithic . The holes were found in groups, but did not result in any meaningful patterns (e.g. for the reconstruction of tents). Tombs date from the Neolithic Age and are probably the remains of a fence around a settlement. Neolithic pottery was found (Fengate forms, the Peterborough ware ) and a small cemetery was established here in the Bronze Age. Six urns and human bones were found inside a fence.

Numerous remains of the settlement date from the Iron Age. They are ditches that are part of fences and huts. The area of ​​the Bronze Age cemetery remained undeveloped and the excavators wonder whether the place was a sanctuary. Celtic coins also date from the end of the Iron Age.

Roman times

The transition to Roman times (conquest of Briannia: 43 AD) seems to have taken place seamlessly. The first stone buildings date from the end of the first century. The main house in this period was a building in the form of a basilica (building 4). Such buildings are well attested as residential houses in other places. A little further on, a second stone building (Building 2) was erected, but its function is uncertain. At the end of the second or the beginning of the third century, various smaller stone buildings grouped around a courtyard were erected in the south. They seem to have been residential buildings, but also craft workshops.

The villa has been expanded over time. A bathroom was built on the site of Building 2. To the west of it, a new house was built at the end of the third century (Building 1), which was expanded in the fourth century. It had a room with hypocausts and a room with a mosaic. Various rooms were decorated with wall paintings. A corridor connected this manor house with the old house (building 4). Another corridor led to the bathroom. An outstanding find is a well-preserved glass bottle. Window glass is comparatively rare and it was suspected that the glazed windows were taken with you when you left the villa. Perhaps the ruins were also explicitly searched for glass. Numerous burials of young children have been found. Burials of small children within villa complexes are also well documented. The high number here but is striking and the agents of the finds are wondering if this on infanticide points. The villa was probably abandoned at the end of the 4th century. There is humble evidence of medieval activity on site.


  • Tony Light, Peter Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa and its ancedents: Excavatiosn 1976-1991 , Dorchester 2009, ISBN 978-0-900341-87-8

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.bucknowle.org.uk/archaeology_site/history.htm  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Romano-British Villa at Bucknowle Farm@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.bucknowle.org.uk  
  2. ^ Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 9-11
  3. ^ Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 23-27
  4. ^ Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 27-34
  5. ^ Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 124-125
  6. ^ J. Price: Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 105-106
  7. ^ J. Price: Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 101
  8. . I. McKinley, in: Light, Ellis: Bucknowle, A Romano-British Villa , 156-157