Newport Roman Villa
February half-term activities
Match Clay Days
14 and Friday 16 February 2024
Time: 9.30am to 3pm
Cost: £1 per person includes admission and all activities
Booking not required
What you will find when you visit
Visit Newport Roman Villa, complete with a 1,700 year-old farmhouse and bath suite.
The old farmhouse
Welcome to Newport Roman Villa, our third-century farmhouse and Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of The Isle of Wight Heritage Service.
It was discovered in 1926 when the owner of a nearby house dug foundations for a garage. Later excavations revealed extensive remains of a late Romano-British farmhouse built around 280 AD. The well-preserved remains at Newport Roman Villa provide a fascinating insight into country life in third century Britain.
The Villa has a superb bath suite with, under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors. Sections of the Villa have been reconstructed to illustrate the building materials used.
- Peep into a Roman kitchen and see preparations for a Roman feast.
- Discover the plants Romans would have used in the beautiful herb garden.
- Find out more about the Roman occupation of the Isle of Wight by exploring the exhibition area. The exhibition displays artefacts found throughout the Isle of Wight.
You can also take a 360° virtual tour of the villa on Google Maps.
When was Newport Roman Villa discovered?
Newport Roman Villa was discovered in March 1926.
Workmen uncovered Roman tiles while digging foundations for a garage as part of a new housing development.
Thanks to public interest and the generosity of local resident Mr J C Millgate, the site was preserved and protected by a cover building.
Excavations had revealed the complete ground plan of the building leaving the excavators faced with the dilemma of re-burying a Roman villa which was remarkably well preserved. At this point Mr. J. C. Millgate generously purchased the site and constructed the cover building for the villa. After the death of Mr. Millgate in 1960 the site was offered to the ministry of Public Building and Works, but the gift was declined. To safeguard the future of the site the Isle of Wight County Council accepted responsibility for the villa in 1961. Due to the foresight of Mr. Millgate we are today able to view a Romano-British farmhouse which was abandoned more than sixteen centuries ago.
To find out more about the discovery of Newport Roman Villa, read our guidance document (PDF, 2.4MB, 9 pages).
- The Villa is open from the beginning of April to the end of September three days per week, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Last entry time is 2.30pm each day.
- During July and August, we are open six days per week, on Monday to Saturday and closed on a Sunday.
Students (with ID)
Family (2 adults, 2 children)
Children (5-17 years)
Children (under 5 years)
Dogs on leads are welcome.
We have limited ability to take payment by cards, so please allow a little extra time if you need to pay in this way.
Newport Roman Villa is easily accessible by foot, bus and bike and visitors arriving by bicycle or showing the Southern Vectis app on their phone will receive 20% off admission prices.
How to get here
Newport Roman Villa has been described as a ‘hidden gem’, the site is tucked away in a residential area of Newport.
- Foot – Newport Roman Villa is a flat, ten-minute walk from the centre of Newport. Follow the brown signs from Church Litten.
- Bus – Newport Roman villa is less than ten minutes’ walk from the central bus station in Newport and the local service No. 38 (Newport-Carisbrooke-Newport) stops at the end of Cypress road (2 mins walk). Visit the Southern Vectis website for more information about bus travel on the Isle of Wight.
- Bicycle – Newport Roman Villa is just minutes away from the scenic Newport to Sandown cycle track (exit at Shide). There is a cycle parking unit at the front of the Villa to enable you to secure your bicycle during your visit. We have Plantlock bike parking in front of the Villa, for the secure parking of two bikes. Find out more about cycling on the Isle of Wight on the Visit Isle of Wight website.
- Car – There are no parking restrictions on Cypress Road and drivers will usually be able to find parking in this or one of the adjacent residential roads. Alternatively, there is a Pay & Display car park on Medina Avenue (less than five minutes' walk, follow the brown signs to the Villa) or several other car parking options a short walk away in central Newport.
Newport Roman Villa is partially accessible to wheelchair users. Most of the site can be accessed, including the Roman Garden, bath suite, and exhibition of artefacts. Unfortunately, we do not have an accessible toilet on site.
You can also take a 360° virtual tour of the villa on Google Maps.
You are welcome to contact us prior to your visit for further information or to discuss your needs.
What some of our visitors said
“Excellent descriptive displays”
“Really good fun, and educational!”
“A hidden gem … Totally fascinating and well worth a visit.”
Schools and groups
We can offer exclusive access to Newport Roman Villa for school groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can bring your classroom ‘bubbles’ and have exclusive access to the site. Get in touch to discuss your school’s requirements. You can also review our revised opening times and visitor information.
Free planning visits
Teachers are encouraged to make a planning visit. This is free of charge and offers an opportunity for us to create a bespoke visit for you. To find out more information about what we can offer and to book a visit, view our Newport Roman Villa guidance (PDF, 339KB, 2 pages).
We are also able to offer visits to other groups such as youth groups or clubs as well as adult groups. Group bookings are taken throughout the year.
Contact us for more information or book; call 01983 823433.
Heritage Education Service (HES) activities
Our third-century Roman villa has some of the best preserved domestic bathrooms in Britain. We can create a tailor-made visit to suit the needs of your group from EYFS to A-levels and beyond. We are open to groups during term time all year round.
A visit may include:
- villa tour (approx. 30 mins) – museum staff will help your group to explore the bathrooms and learn about life in a Romano-British villa.
- photo-hunt challenge (approx. 30 mins) – this allows groups to work in pairs to have a better look at the villa remains, handle replica artefacts and hunt for items pointed out in the tour
- activity room workshop (approx. 60 mins) – we will introduce the activities and be on hand to give support and answer any questions.
The Activity Room can accommodate up to 30 people. Activities available to all include:
- What did the villa owners wear? – museum staff will give a short introduction about clothing, demonstrating how to use the mini looms. Groups can then try on replica Roman clothing and have a go at weaving
- Kitchen archaeology – What did the villa owners eat? All will be revealed by looking at original archaeological material found at the villa
- Be an archaeologist – try being an archaeologist and reconstruct a replica Roman pot
- What's cooking? – the room includes a reconstructed kitchen, with a raised hearth and replica food and cooking equipment. Grind corn outside (weather-dependent) and create imaginative meals with our large variety of replica Roman foods
- Mosaic-making – design the missing middle panel of our changing room mosaic using inspiration from pictures of designs found in other British villas
- Roman Engineering – learn how the Romans built their arches or try and build the tallest tower.
Bookings and fees
A two-hour workshop with a tour costs £4 per student.
For an additional £1 per pupil, we can deliver the following additional activities:
- create a tile using replica Samian moulds
- write in Latin using replica wax tablets and ink pens, just like they had at Vindolanda
- learn and play Roman board games.
To book any of these activities, contact us. For more information about HES, visit Heritage Education Service.