Silchester, despite knowing the remains of the Roman town of Calleva are there, it is always a surprise to come up against the great walls of the town, still imposing after 2000 years.
The parish of Silchester in Hampshire, is home to some of the best preserved town walls in Britain. It is hard to imagine what this area of Hampshire would have been like 2000 years ago. There was a great ampitheatre and the streets would have been packed with shops and artisans as well as houses, baths and shrines. It was abandoned in about 400AD and apparently faded away until the settlement re-emerged in around the C12th.
The Roman town was called Calleva Atrebatum and was founded in the C1th. It was built on the site of an Iron Age town, Calleva.
Extensive archaeological research has been undertaken on the site by the University of Reading and is part of an ongoing project. There is an excellent website developed by the University of Reading, The Silchester Project’ where an enormous amount of detail about this Roman town and the excavations can be found. Tucked up on the east wall is the church of St Mary the Virgin, built in the C12th and full of mystery and charm and open daily