Talks will describe Broughton Roman Villa discovery

The discovery of one of the largest Roman villas ever found in Britain will be described in two talks - one this month, the next in March.

Historian and detectorist Keith Westcott gives the first of these talks at Banbury Historical Society next Thursday, February 14.

The second takes place at the Bloxham Village History Club on March 20 at the Jubilee Hall.

The story of Mr Westcott’s amazing discovery was broken in the media by the Banbury Guardian last August but his find happened much earlier in the year.

Mr Westscott, who had unearthed the Broughton Hoard – a collection of silver coins, hidden at Broughton in the early years of the English Civil War – has had an enduring fascination in the Broughton estate’s history.

As an expert in heating engineering, he immediately recognised that a tile he had picked up was a piece of Roman wall heating material and realised something extremely important was beneath the corn field he was exploring.

His theory that the foundations of a villa could be below the soil fitted in with the mystery of a single, third century sarcophagus, containing the bones of a high-status Anglo-Romano woman, unearthed in the 1960s.

The fascinating story about the discovery, a trial dig and its revelations and possibilities for future excavation can be heard at the two talks. The first takes place at Banbury Museum at 7.30pm and the Bloxham talk also begins at 7.30pm.