MOSAICS dating back to the Romans were recently given a deep clean for the first time in over a decade.

The North Leigh Roman Villa welcomed its 1,000th visitor of 2020 earlier this month, and celebrated with a clean of the 1,700-year-old mosaics.

English Heritage’s Mary Luckhurst showed visitors and volunteers how the artifacts should be cleaned to help preserve them for future generations.

The process includes gentle sweeping with badger-hair brushes and dabbing the tiles with cotton wool soaked in deionised water.

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The mosaics were last regularly open to visitors about 30 years ago.

A voluntary initiative to reopen them regularly has seen generous visitor donations raise over £1,000 to help improve the site.

The Roman villa at North Leigh is considered one of the larger villas of Roman Britain.

It was at its most extensive in the early fourth century when it included four bath suites, 16 mosaic floors and 11 rooms with under-floor heating.

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Local volunteer group North Leigh Roman Villa Volunteers was established last summer, and works with the charity English Heritage to improve the site, which is free and open year round.

English Heritage oversees over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites, welcoming 10 million people each year.

It is free to become a Friend of North Leigh Roman Villa, and to keep up to date with future developments and events, including cleaning, at the site.

To learn more about the group, email: