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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 13:34 UK
Chedworth Roman Villa exhibition set to begin

Detail from mosaic at Chedworth Roman Villa
Chedworth Roman Villa houses several stunning mosaics

The chance discovery of one of Britain's most important Roman sites 150 years ago will be highlighted in a new exhibition.

The history of Chedworth Roman Villa will be illustrated at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, with artists' impressions showing how the villa will be preserved for the future.

The villa was discovered in 1864 on the Earl of Eldon's estate by a local gamekeeper who spotted fragments of pottery.

The Victorian excavations uncovered much of the villa and a small museum was also built on the site.

More than a mile of walls were revealed, along with beautiful mosaics, two bathhouses, hypocausts, a water shrine and latrine.

It is a really exciting period in the history of the villa.
Katie Smith

The theme of the exhibition is the past, present and future of the Chedworth Roman Villa.

"Visitors will be able to see how the villa was discovered by chance and the way the Victorians excavated and displayed the site," said Katie Smith, Chedworth Community Outreach Officer.

"We will also show the villa today, with some of the unique and fragile remains on display."

Future plans for the villa centre on a £3 million scheme of conservation work and improvements which has already been given a £700,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Views of the new shelters, which will protect the Roman archaeology, will be shown in the exhibition.

"It is a really exciting period in the history of the villa and we want to offer everybody the chance to discover what the villa has to offer and how we propose to preserve it for the future," said Katie.

The exhibition runs from Friday, 26 June, to Saturday, 21 August, 2010 at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.

On Monday, 28 June, 2010, National Trust staff from Chedworth will be on hand to talk to visitors and explain more about the project and Chedworth.

More information is available from the Chedworth Roman Villa website.

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