Bignor Roman Villa is open for its 201st season

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AFTER celebrating 200 years of opening to the public last year, Bignor Roman Villa has opened for a new season with its eye on the future.

One of the best known Roman villas in the country, Bignor has become a charitable trust.

Museum manager Lisa Tupper told the Observer: “There is a very positive outlook at the villa.

“It is hoped the site will greatly benefit from becoming a charitable trust, enjoying extra income from Gift Aid, donations, as well as becoming eligible for funding streams which can help preserve and protect the history and heritage of the Roman villa site.

“This season, visitors who are UK tax payers can Gift Aid their admission at no extra cost and benefit from a free annual pass to the site.”

The Bignor Roman Villa Charitable Trust was established last year exactly 200 years after the site was opened to the public.

It operates both the museum and the site of the scheduled historic monument.

“George Tupper could have had no idea that the stone he struck whilst ploughing in 1811 would lead to the discovery of one of the largest villas in Roman Britain,” added Lisa.

“Today, Bignor Roman Villa is one of the best known Roman sites in Britain and is still managed by the Tupper family, now under the control of the trustees who continually strive to maintain the site for the education and enjoyment of all who come to visit.”

She said the Tupper family welcomed the new charitable status and looked forward to the next 200 years as custodians of the unique and important piece of British heritage.

During the year it will be hosting a series of weekend events featuring Raven-Tor Living History Group, with its roman military, gladiatorial combat and roman life demonstrations.

Bignor Roman Villa welcomes both schools and adult groups and is currently taking bookings.

Anyone who has some spare time and would like to volunteer should contact the team on 01798 869259 or email: enquiries@bignorromanvilla.co.uk.