Vetusta Monumenta: Ancient Monuments, a Digital Edition

Plate 2.43: Roman Pavements Found Near Warminster (Original Explanatory Account)


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THE tesselated pavements exhibited in this plate were discovered, in March and November, 1786, in a common meadow, called Pitt-Mead, near Warminster, in the county of Wilts. Through the particular attention of a lady then in the neighbourhood, sketches of them were made before the greater part of them were destroyed by the ignorant peasantry.

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time. But the above-mentioned Nobleman, hearing of our discoveries, employed some men there, who in the course of a few days, Nov. 22, came to the beautiful remains No 4. This was likewise not more than half a foot below the surface, and in some places not more than four inches, which I suppose to be at the cause of so large a part of it being destroyed.

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took them all (except the first, which I copied from the before-mentioned sketch) upon the spot, which no other person had the opportunity of doing. As to the execution, conscious as I am of a great deficiency, having never had the least instructions, I can with truth say, nothing but an ardent desire of preventing what most people think so important a discovery from being hid from your learned body, could have induced me to let it meet the eye of taste and science.

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Dr. Stukely1 [sic] places VERLUCIO (which the Itinerary makes 15 miles from Bath) at Hedington, which is too far from Bath, and too near Marlborough. Dr. Gale2 had therefore placed it at Westbury, which is indeed off the military way, and in a MS note he translates it Ver lug, the town on the Were.

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SINCE the above was printed off, Mr. BARRINGTON received the following letter from Mrs. DOWNES, dated Warminster, March 10, 1788; in which, after expressing her acknowledgements for the attention paid to her description by the Society, she proceeds.

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