The following examination of the agricultural aspects of Bignor Roman villa was written in 1950, and is here reproduced with a few additions, and with corrections necessitated by the results of Professor S. S. Frere's excavations at the villa in the years 1957–1962.
It is very likely that Lysons, who excavated the villa in the eighteenth century, did not find, or did not record, earlier farm-buildings which may well have preceded those to be seen on his plan. Nor may he have noticed various details or subdivisions of the latter. Nevertheless it seemed worthwhile attempting their analysis in order to resuscitate the general lines of the agriculture practised at Bignor in the fourth century; and while further excavation of the farmyard, if it takes place, will doubtless produce corrections and new facts, the attempt will have been justified if it suggests new considerations and methods. Some of the conclusions of the present study were included in much abbreviated form in the writer's contribution on Roman Britain to The Agrarian History of England, Vol. I, part ii, published in 1972.