Silchester, located in Hampshire, is an ancient site steeped in history, with a rich Roman legacy waiting to be discovered.
In recent years, several significant archaeological findings have been made in and around Silchester, shedding light on the Roman occupation of Britain and deepening our understanding of their culture and society.
As you plan your visit to Silchester, consider staying at one of Active Hospitality's nearby accommodations for a comfortable and convenient experience.
In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating history of Silchester, its archaeological discoveries, and how you can make the most of your visit.
History of Silchester
Silchester was originally an Iron Age settlement, which became a major center under Roman rule.The Romans called it Calleva Atrebatum, meaning "wooded place of the Atrebates," a Celtic tribe that lived in the area before the Roman conquest.
The Romans established Calleva Atrebatum in the 1st century AD and developed it into a thriving town with public buildings, temples, and a sophisticated infrastructure. However, after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century AD, the town gradually declined and was eventually abandoned.
- Iron Age settlement of the Atrebates tribe
- Evidence of a Late Iron Age oppidum (fortified settlement)
- Roman occupation and influence in Silchester
- Establishment of Calleva Atrebatum in the 1st century AD
- Development of public buildings, temples, and infrastructure
- Forum-basilica, a central public building for administration and trade
- Roman baths
- Network of Roman roads connecting Silchester to other major Roman towns
Post-Roman era and decline
- Gradual decline after the Roman withdrawal from Britain
- Abandonment of the site in the early medieval period
- Reuse of building materials from the Roman town for later construction
Silchester is one of the best-preserved Roman towns in Britain, and its archaeological remains continue to reveal new insights into Roman life and culture.
The Silchester Town Life Project, a long-term research endeavor, seeks to understand the daily life of the town's inhabitants through the meticulous excavation of its remains.
The Silchester Town Life Project
- A long-term research project led by the University of Reading
- Focus on understanding the daily life of the inhabitants
- Excavation of several insulae (city blocks) within the Roman town
- Contributions to our understanding of Roman Britain, including town planning, economy, and social structure
Recent discoveries and their significance
- Insula IX: A city block excavated by the Silchester Town Life Project, revealing information on Roman domestic life, urban planning, and building techniques
- Well-preserved Roman houses, workshops, and a possible tavern
- Evidence of early timber buildings replaced by more substantial masonry structures as the town prospered
- Roman baths: Discovery of an extensive bath complex, highlighting the importance of leisure culture in Roman society
- Hot, cold, and warm plunge pools
- Heated rooms for relaxation and socialising
- Evidence of decorative mosaics and wall paintings
Silchester is an ideal destination for history enthusiasts and those interested in exploring Britain's Roman past.
The site is easily accessible and offers a range of options for guided tours and self-guided exploration.
How to get to Silchester
- Located approximately 10 miles southwest of Reading in Hampshire
- Accessible by car or public transportation (nearest train station: Mortimer)
When to visit
- Year-round access to the Roman city walls and amphitheatre
- Guided tours and special events offered mainly during the summer months
Guided tours and self-guided exploration options
- Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre
- 1.6-mile circular walk around the well-preserved city walls
- Remains of the Roman amphitheatre, which could hold up to 3,500 spectators
- Silchester Village and St. Mary the Virgin Church
- Picturesque village with historic buildings
- The church features a Roman-style arch and a collection of Roman artifacts
- Calleva Atrebatum archaeological site
- Excavations managed by the Silchester Town Life Project
- Visit during the summer months for guided tours and special events
Active Hospitality Accommodations in the Area
During your visit to Silchester, consider staying at one of Active Hospitality's exquisite properties, conveniently located near the historical site.
Each hotel offers a unique experience and a range of amenities to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
- Easthampstead Park: A stunning country mansion set within 60 acres of parkland, featuring elegant bedrooms and an on-site restaurant
- Gorse Hill: An elegant Edwardian mansion with tastefully decorated rooms, perfect for a relaxing retreat
To book a room, visit the Active Hospitality website, or simply click on the "Book Hotel Rooms HERE" link on the page.
To enhance your understanding of Silchester's Roman history, consider exploring these additional resources:
Books on Silchester and its archaeological findings:
- "Silchester: Changing Visions of a Roman Town" by Michael Fulford
- "Silchester: Life on the Dig" by Amanda Clarke and Michael Fulford
Documentaries and television programs featuring Silchester:
- "Rome's Lost Empire" (BBC)
- "Time Team" episodes focusing on Silchester (Channel 4)
Why You Should Visit Silchester
Silchester's remarkable Roman legacy offers a unique opportunity to delve into the past and understand the lives of those who once inhabited this historic site.
As you plan your visit, remember to explore the numerous treasures that Silchester has to offer and consider staying at one of Easthampstead Park luxurious rooms.
By immersing yourself in the rich history of Silchester, you'll not only gain valuable insights into Roman Britain but also help preserve this important heritage for future generations.
Book your visit to Silchester and reserve your stay with Easthampstead Park Hotel today!
Frequently Asked Questions Related To: Silchester
Q: What is Silchester?
A: Silchester is an ancient town located in Hampshire, England, known for its rich Roman history and archaeological excavations.
Q: What is the Silchester Town Life Project?
A: The Silchester Town Life Project is a long-term research endeavor led by the University of Reading, focused on understanding the daily life of Silchester's Roman inhabitants through the meticulous excavation of its remains.
Q: What are the major Roman buildings in Silchester?
A: Silchester boasts several significant Roman buildings, including a forum-basilica, a Roman bath complex, an amphitheater, and a network of Roman roads.
Q: What are the best ways to explore Silchester?
A: Visitors can explore Silchester through guided tours or self-guided exploration. Popular sites include the Roman city walls and amphitheater, Silchester village, and St. Mary the Virgin Church.
Q: What are the nearby attractions to Silchester?
A: The Vyne, Basingstoke Canal, and Wellington Country Park are popular attractions located near Silchester.
Q: What accommodations does Active Hospitality offer near Silchester?
A: Active Hospitality offers two exquisite properties near Silchester: Easthampstead Park and Gorse Hill. Each property offers a unique experience and a range of amenities to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Q: How can I book a room with Easthampstead Park?
A: To book a room with Easthampstead Park , visit our website or Contact us today!
Q: What are some additional resources for learning about Silchester?
A: Books such as "Silchester: Changing Visions of a Roman Town" by Michael Fulford and documentaries such as "Rome's Lost Empire" (BBC) are great resources for deepening your understanding of Silchester's Roman history