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Fragment of mosaic from Croughton (painting by David S. Neal).
Fragment of mosaic from Croughton, Northants (painting by David S. Neal).

The Roman Mosaics of Britain

by David S. Neal and Stephen R. Cosh

A record of every Roman mosaic discovered in Britain

This massive project to create the first complete corpus of the Roman mosaics of Britain is now complete. The catalogue lists and describes every known mosaic. All significant mosaics are illustrated, many with the acclaimed tessera-by-tessera colour paintings by the authors. Read about Stephen Cosh and David Neal's experience of creating the paintings for the corpus.

As well as describing and illustrating the mosaics, the corpus deals fully with context and evidence: there are accounts of excavations, photographs of all figured mosaics, reproductions of early engravings and detailed plans of villas. The result is an unrivalled scholarly resource for anyone interested in Roman art, craftsmanship, architecture and social life. The corpus is divided into four regional volumes, each arranged alphabetically by county and site.

The project has also produced an archive of paintings and other research materials accumulated by the authors in the course of preparing the catalogue, which will be deposited with the Society of Antiquaries as a resource for archaeologists and scholars in the future.

Volume I: NORTHERN BRITAIN, incorporating the Midlands and East Anglia

The first volume, published in 2002, covers the following counties: Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, Suffolk, Warwickshire and Yorkshire, a total of about 400 mosaics.


Volume II, published in 2006, covers almost 450 mosaics from Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, an area which has the highest concentration of figured mosaics in Britain and some of the most famous mosaics in the country.


Volume III, published in 2009, is a two-volume set covering the areas of Britain that were first to come under Roman control, and where some of Britain's most impressive mosaics have been found — in the towns of Colchester, Silchester, London and St Albans, and in the villas and palaces at Brading, Bignor, Fishbourne and Lullingstone.

Volume IV: WESTERN BRITAIN, including Wales

The fourth and final volume, published in 2010, covers western counties of Britain, including the towns of Cirencester, Gloucester, Wroxeter and Caerwent, and the wealthy Roman villas of the Cotswolds.

The volumes are published by the Society of Antiquaries. They are in a standard format of 240 × 305 mm, printed on 150 gsm matt art paper with full colour throughout, and bound in cloth boards. Each volume has several hundred illustrations, half in colour, including many original paintings by the authors.

   Roman Mosaics of Britain, volume 1
The Corpus volumes are distributed by Oxbow Books.
This page is maintained by Ruth Westgate. Last modified 23 July 2011.