The Mosaics of Bays Meadow Roman Villa in Droitwich

Hodgkinson mosaic

A mosaic from the Roman villa at Bays Meadow in Droitwich is due to go on display at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum on January 29th 2011 that was excavated by Hodgkinson in 1920. The design is of a sixteen-pointed star in six colours; white, khaki, grey-green, pale blue-grey, yellow and red. The room it came from measured about 3 metres by 3 metres and the complete mosaic is thought to have been around 2½ metres by 2½ metres and would have been surrounded by a coarse red tessellated surround. The tesserae are an average of 12mm in size and the workmanship is accurate and proficient.  This mosaic is in the Worcestershire County Collection

Reconstruction of the Allies mosaic

The Worcester City collection includes a second mosaic from Bays Meadow villa which is currently on display at Droitwich Heritage Centre. This mosaic was discovered by Jabez Allies in 1847 during the construction of the railway and is at least 90cm squared although Allies wrote that there may have been more of it. It was made of white, red and blue tesserae and featured a knot at its centre.

Other scatters and fragments of mosaic are also known to have been found across the villa site and to the north of the villa the remains of a mosaic workers hut was excavated which suggests that the mosaics for the villa were constructed in situ. Grey and white chalk tesserae were found around the hut as well as prepared rods of stone from which tesserae could have been manufactured.
 
Reconstruction of the Hodgkinson mosaic

The reconstructions and analysis of the Bays Meadow mosaics are featured in Roman Droitwich: Dodderhill Fort, Bays Meadow Villa and Roadside Development edited by Derek Hurst, CBA Research Report 146, Council for British Archaeology , 2006.

The Hodgkinson mosaic features in the exhibition ‘On Tracks of Iron & Salt: Roman Worcestershire’ which runs from January 29th until June 18th 2011 at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

The Allies mosaic remains on display at Droitwich Heritage Centre which is open from Mondays to Saturdays (exact opening hours vary).

 
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