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The Masonic Character of Brading Roman Villa (Isle of Wight)


Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight was re-discovered in 1879 by chance and good fortune.


The Roman 2nd Augusta Legion under Vespasian conquered the Isle of Wight in 44CE. The first simple villa at Brading dates from the mid-1st century but, over the next hundred years, it developed into a large and impressive stone-built villa around three sides of a central courtyard. Its luxurious rooms contained many fine Roman mosaics.


Around AD340, Brading Villa, like many estates in southern Britain, was suffering frequent pirate raids. However, Roman coins excavated at the site indicate that Brading was still occupied until AD395, when Emperor Honorius began his reign. It is believed that the Villa fell into disuse around the 5th century. Undergrowth covered the site, and when the land was cleared to be used for agriculture in 1879, the location of Brading Roman Villa was re-discovered.


The Roman Villa at Brading includes some very high quality mosaics featuring subject matter including:




iii)Bacchus the Roman God of Wine

iv)Ceres and Triptolemus

v)Achilles or Apollo (panel damaged)


vii)The Four Winds (Aquilo the West Wind, Zephyrus the South Wind, Euros the East Wind and Boreus the North Wind)

viii)Attis and Sagaritis

ix)Cadmus and Draco


xi)Perseus and Andromeda

xii)The Four Seasons

xiii)Hipparchus the Astrologer

xiv)A large expanse of checkered floor with an Easterly aspect



The alignment of the villa and the checkered floor is also reminiscent of a ‘House of the Rising Sun’.


Brading Roman Villa is aligned with the Rising Sun in the East



Analysis of the Masonic nature of Brading Roman Villa was undertaken by W.Bro.Col J.F.Crease in 1890, approximately 11 years after the villa’s re-discovery.


The book is titled ‘The Masonic character of the Roman villa at Morton, I.W. / by J.F. Crease. (Ars Quatuar Coronatorum. March 7, 1890)’ and a copy is held in the Royal Collection Trust.


A digitized PDF copy of J.F.Crease’s book can be downloaded from:




Further detailed analysis on the Masonic Character of Brading Roman Villa can be accessed from the following PDF document.



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Uploaded on January 18, 2021