Filming the audio-visual projections – bringing the Villa to life

Staff, volunteers and a community outreach group were all involved in a days filming, to shoot footage for audio-visual projections that will feature in the triclinium (dining room) next year. The shadowy figures are recreating a Roman meal, and alongside sounds and smells will transport visitors back to 362 AD, the Villa’s hayday. Thank you to everyone who helped on the day!

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Gloucestershire Environmental Trust funds new suspended walkways

Cut through section showing the west range cover shelter with suspended walkwaysThe new suspended walkways, which will float above the mosaics at Chedworth Roman Villa are set to go ahead, thanks to a grant of £150,000 from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust with landfill tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental. The suspended walkways are due to be installed shortly and will be open to the public in March 2012.

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New conservation cover shelter- the construction

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New conservation cover shelter- the construction

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Victorian cover shelters removed

The west range of the Villa now resides under scaffolding. The Victorian cover shelters have been removed from over the <em>triclinium</em> and bath house, with the wooden trusses retained for use in the new education building.

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Conservation ‘socks’ installed to protect the pillars

Conservation ‘socks’ were installed to protect the pillars of the hypocaust from the elements throughout the winter months.  This is part of our project to conserve and protect what is at risk on the site.  These special ‘socks’ have been kindly sponsored to fundraise towards the project so we can ensure it is finished.  Banners are in place to recognise everyone who has supported the socks this year.  If you would like to sponsor a sock, please visit:  http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-chedworthromanvilla/w-chedworthromanvilla-appeal.htm

Over the next few weeks, Katie Smith our Community Outreach Officer will be working with local school pupils to create images that will build a montage of pictures on the 20 of the remaining covers to continue our work with the local community.

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Foundations of new education building to mark the beginning of construction

Things are really moving onsite now the New Year is upon us.  Foundations for the new education building were laid today, under our resident archaeologist Guy Salkeld’s watchful eye.  Guy is monitoring the building work to ensure anything of archaeological interest is carefully recorded and to make sure the construction work does not disturb any significant archaeology.

 

He threw a coin into the foundations that is unique to Chedworth inscribed with the Latin ‘Veni Vidi Voti’ meaning ‘I came, I saw, I offered’ and a 2010 minted coin to mark the beginning of the construction work.

  

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Protecting the mosaics

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Protecting the mosaics ready for the building works is a complex job.  The conservators and contractors have been working hard to ensure that they are safe during the work. 

The newly uncovered mosaics have been covered with a permeable plastic material, a layer of sand, a layer of insulation to protect them from frost damage and two layers of plywood. 

Where there are voids in the mosaics in the triclinium and bath house, carpenters have been constructing platforms to create a level surface so the mosaics can be properly protected by the same method as above.

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Preparations for building the conservation shelter & education building in full swing!

The excavation and conservation of the mosaics in the west range corridor, room 5b, room 6 corridor and rooms 7 & 8 has now come to a close.  These splendid mosaics have been a spectacle for all who have visited Chedworth over the summer, with a fantastic team of volunteers and National Trust staff on hand to undertake the hard work required to reveal them.

The next phase of the project is to protect these mosaics and the other mosaics across the west range to ensure they are safe during the building works, which begins in November.  A team of conservators and contractors will be ensuring suitable protection is in place over the next few weeks.  Other preparations will also be taking place to get the site ready for the building works in 2012.

A huge thanks to all those who volunteered and all the National Trust staff who have undertaken, often backbreaking work in less than tropical conditions to reveal these wonderful treasures.

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Photographs of the excavations so far

The archaeologists have finished their work on the mosaics for the moment and Chedworth now welcomes a team of conservators.

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