Silchester in Hampshire has its origins as Calleva, a centre of the Iron Age Atrebates tribe from the late 1st century BC. After the Roman conquest of AD 43 it became the large and important town of Calleva Atrebatum. Unlike most Roman towns, it was never reoccupied or built over after it was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century, so archaeological investigations have given an unusually complete picture of its development.
The complete circuit of the Roman walls, some of the best-preserved Roman town defences in England, and remains of the amphitheatre still stand.
Read more about the history of Silchester.
Before You Go
Parking: There is a charged car park at Silchester Roman Town in Wall Lane, RG7 2HP, managed by Hampshire County Council. The walls are a few minutes' walk from the car park and the amphitheatre a 10-minute walk.
Access: The site is reached by a footpath, parts of which may be uneven and can become muddy. Recent heavy rains have badly affected the stability of the footpaths that run around the amphitheatre and they should not be used.
School Visits/Large Groups: Prior notice of tall vehicles (such as coaches and minibuses) wishing to park in the car park is needed. Please contact Hampshire County Council on 01189 700132 to open the height restriction barrier.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Plan a Great Day Out
Why not travel to historic Farnham to view the impressive motte and shell keep of a castle founded in 1138 by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester. The castle is about a 45-minute drive from Silchester and tours of the Bishop's Palace are available on Wednesday afternoons for an additional fee.
The picturesque ruins of Waverley Abbey, nestled on the banks of the River Wey, is another popular spot and is roughly a 50-minute drive away. Pack a picnic and look out for the wildlife on the lake en route to the abbey ruins.
Or why not try The Grange at Northington. Set like a lakeside temple in a landscaped park, The Grange is the foremost example of the Greek Revival style. Popular with families for picnics and just a 50-minute drive from Silchester.