Installation of new suspended walkways
Posted: 9th October 2010
Chedworth Roman Villa, Yanworth, Nr. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LJ
For the first time, visitors to Chedworth Roman Villa are now able to get up close to the unique mosaics, as new walkways suspended from the ceiling of the new conservation building have been installed.
The walkways, funded by a grant of £150,000 from The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, are part of a £3m redevelopment project to build a shelter to protect the mosaics and other remains of the villa.
The National Trust's project to conserve the villa - one of the most significant domestic Roman sites in the UK - has involved creating a new environmentally-controlled conservation shelter over the mosaics in the west range, to replace old Victorian sheds. Chedworth Roman Villa was home to some of the richest people in the country during its heyday in the 4th century.
Excavations have revealed one of the longest corridor mosaics in England. Visitors are now able to walk the full length of the west wing of the villa through the former dining room and bath houses, looking down on the illuminated mosaics below.
The walkways are just one of the new improvements to Chedworth; a new cafe and education facility have been built for its 50,000 annual visitors. Since the walkways were constructed, visitor surveys have shown vastly increased rates of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Other funding for the Chedworth Roman Villa project included a £700,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous donations from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Summerfield Charitable Trust, Roman Research Trust and the Kinsurdy Trust.