Ancient Wessex News and Information
Ancient Wessex News and Information

Silchester Roman Town

Calleva Atrebatum is a Roman Town in Silchester Berkshire, founded in the first century AD.

Built on the site of an Iron Age town, Calleva, It may have been a planned settlement of people from north-west Gaul (France), centred around the town of Arras and the tribe of the Atrebates. The Roman amphitheatre and town walls are some of the best preserved in England. Laid out on a distinctive street grid pattern, the town contained many public buildings and flourished until the early Anglo-Saxon period.

Unlike most Roman towns, it was never re-occupied or built over after its abandonment in the 5th century, so archaeological investigations give an unusually complete picture of its development.

Between 1997 and 2014, the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology, led by Professor Michael Fulford and Amanda Clarke, investigated one block or ‘insula’ of the Roman town. The aim was to provide details of town life from its origins in the late Iron Age to the time it was abandoned.

Silchester remains one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain and is one of the few that were continuously occupied from the Iron Age.

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