On Monday on our way down to Butlins in Bognor Regis we stopped in at Bignor Roman Villa. I say stopped in, a better description would be we took a 25 mile detour to visit. Bignor isn’t a place that can get much through traffic but it’s not it’s fault- a Roman villa is where a Roman villa is; it’s not as if you can move it for better passing trade.
Bignor is a site with some of the best Roman mosaics you’ll ever see but it’s also a site that rather charmingly seems trapped in the early 1980’s. Some of the labels are hand written, others typed on an actual typewriter and in one instance, a note says some hip bones from an infant skeleton have been temporarily removed for DNA testing. The label is dated around 1990.
There is also no electricity on site, the explanation given that cable can’t be laid due to the archaeology. This obviously helps with the out of time feeling.
To some, the old fashioned nature of Bignor might be a turn off but for us it really added to it. I thought it was ace. If it hadn’t been pissing it down, it would have been even better but the archaeology is covered anyway, and really speaks for itself. It’s nice to see archaeological remains unencumbered by flashbang technology that the kids look at in preference to the actual objects.
Well worth a trip if you’re in that neck of the woods!