The Newport Roman Villa is open between April and November each year, and this unique attraction dates back more than 1700 years. The remains of what was once a luxurious Roman home were discovered by pure chance back in 1926, when the man who owned the house beside them started to lay the foundations to build himself a garage. He stumbled across the remains of a villa and these days visitors to the island can get an idea of just how grand life for the Romans could be.
The villa was probably a farmhouse and is thought to date back to 280 AD, and today it’s a Scheduled Ancient Monument of huge national importance. One of the striking things about the villa is how well preserved it is (considering it was buried for so many centuries!) , and visitors can clearly make out what would have been the bath suite, the system for underfloor heating and the beautiful mosaics that adorn the floors.
Thanks to clever reconstruction, some areas of the villa show how the materials of the time were used to create the building, and if you peer into the kitchen you’ll even see one of the house’s slave getting a feast ready for his employers. There’s an activity room onsite where guests are welcome to try their hands at some of the crafts the Romans loved, and the exhibition area is home to some of the Isle of Wight’s best Roman finds.