Brading Villa, Isle of Wight – Quick Facts

Where

Isle of Wight/Vectis Insula MapWebsite

When

  • First Roman structure built around AD 50 shortly after AD 43 conquest.
  • Large luxury estate villa dates from around AD 250 close to Brading Haven bay which now lies further away. Villa had two bath suites, luxury mosaics and window glass.
  • Allectus, emperor of Britannia from AD 293-296, said to have brought his troops to Vectis(Isle of Wight) to ambush the incoming fleets of Asclepiodotus who was sent by Constantius in Rome to reclaim Britain for the Roman Empire. Heavy fog prevented Allectus from seeing the invading ships as they passed Vectisand they proceeded to the mainland. Asclepiodotus defeated Allectus on the mainland and Britain was once again part of the Empire in AD 296.
  • Fire destroyed the villa in the late third century but the site continued to be used as a farm.
  • Raids by pirates threatened coastal communities throughout the fourth century but the site remained occupied until around AD 395.

What Remains

  • Foundations of twelve rooms of the third century villa.
  • Five rooms with mosaics – the Bacchus mosaic which includes a cock-headed man called Gallus dressed as a gladiator trainer; Corridor mosaic of red and white checkers and a medallion of Orpheus playing a lyre surrounded by animals; large mosaic with agricultural and marine themes and the Four Winds; astronomer mosaic; Four Seasons mosaic; and an eye mosaic.
  • A small nymphaeum pool.
  • An ancient well.