Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.


Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites:
North Leigh Roman Villa

By the River Evenlode, near where Akeman Street crosses the valley, North Leigh is the remains of a small Second to Fourth Century Roman villa, built over an earlier Iron Age farmstead. An English Heritage site with public access, its a wonderful stopping off point for walks along the Evenlode valley.


Summary for ‘North Leigh Roman Villa’:

Location: North Leigh

Type: ‘Other features’.

Condition: Foundations outdoors, mosaic within building on site.

Access: English Heritage site, open during daylight hours but usually with no staff on site.

OS Grid Ref.: SP396154

Further information: English Heritage.

Walks posts for site: {none yet}


Tucked neatly on the terrace of the Evenlode flood plain, North Leigh Roman Villa is for many probably a bit underwhelming. The foundations of what, seventeen-hundred years ago, was a luxurious building; but which today seem a little insignificant compared to many of the luxury Cotswold ‘cottages’ you may have walked past to get here.

Apart from the odd train passing on the over-looking Cotswold Line, though, it’s a lovely spot to pause, avail yourself of a place to sit, and muse upon the ancient stonework; before picking up your pack for the last push to Hanborough station and home (the nearest station now both Coombe and Finstock on either side along the valley are effectively closed).

There are no facilities at the site. Even the signage is looking a little tired of late. What is has are some mysterious ruins and a place to sit and admire them. North Leigh Roman Villa is a place to bring your imagination rather than your expectations.