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Lullingstone Hamlet and Roman Villa

Home > United Kingdom > Escape the City | Historic Houses | Museums | Outdoor | Walks
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published March 12th 2020
Discover British history in beautiful country Kent
Lullingstone is a small hamlet in Kent, about an hour's drive south of central London, and 20 minutes from Bromley. Towards Lullingstone the drive is quite delightful, winding through country fields.

Country fields near Lullingstone in Kent
Country fields near Lullingstone in Kent


Packed with history, and perfect for a day out, Lullingstone would be easy to miss if you didn't know to look for it. Entrance to the hamlet is via a bridge or a ford on the River Darent near Eynsford.

Driving into Lullingstone via the ford or the bridge
Driving into Lullingstone via the ford or the bridge


Lullingstone Roman Villa, thought to have been settled around AD 100, is one of the best-preserved Roman residences in Britain. In recent years a museum has been built over the entire ruins of the villa, protecting them from the elements.

Inside the museum that preserves Lullingstone Villa
Inside the museum that preserves Lullingstone Villa


The ruins reveal a lot about the lives of the Romans who lived there, and about their ingenuity. This includes the ruins of an early Roman-Christian chapel, a heated baths area that used water from the nearby stream, and a large granary. Art within the villa indicates the change from paganism to Christianity by the residents.

A preserved mosaic at Lullingstone Roman Villa
A preserved mosaic at Lullingstone Roman Villa


There are a number of preserved mosaics, including two on the dining room floor. The first tells the story of the abduction of the princess Europa by the god Jupiter who is disguised as a bull, while the second tells the story of Bellerophon killing the chimera with four sea creatures around them.

Artefacts on display at Lullingstone Roman Villa
Artefacts on display at Lullingstone Roman Villa


The double-storey building over the villa provides visitors with the opportunity to view the rooms and mosaics from two levels.

Looking down on the preserved Villa's ruins from the second storey of the museum
Looking down on the preserved Villa's ruins from the second storey of the museum


There are also a large number of artefacts displayed around the museum, with details on their age and uses.

Artefacts are on display around the museum
Artefacts are on display around the museum


Once outside the museum, there is a beautiful, shaded walk along the River Darent which has excellent paddling for children. There are also ducks and squirrels to be seen along the path, along with other birds and the occasional rabbit or fox.

The River Darent walk is a great place to look for birds and wildlife
The River Darent walk is a great place to look for birds and wildlife


In all, a day out at Lullingstone Hamlet and Roman Villa gives families a lovely break from London without needing to travel very far at all.

A scenic walk along the Darent River passes through Lullingstone
A scenic walk along the Darent River passes through Lullingstone and links the hamlet to the Roman Villa


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Why? Fascinating history in beautiful surrounds
When: November - March, open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. From April to October, open 10am - 6pm daily
Phone: 0370 333 1181
Where: Lullingstone, Kent
Cost: Adult 9.00; Child (5-17) 5.40; Concession 8.10. Family and overseas visitor passes on request
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