11 Romans Field
Hampshire RG7 2QH
How to get there
There's a good-sized car park which is locked at dusk.
The path to the excavation site is about 700m (~0.5miles) long with a slightly uneven surface. Visitors unable to use this route should phone 07912 998970 for assistance.
Telephone: (+44) (0)7912 998970
The excavation site is open 10:00 to 16:30 daily except Fridays.
Roman Silchester is a great place for combining a relaxing walk with some of England's renowned heritage. Located near modern day Silchester, it once was the location of an important Iron Age settlement called Calleva, which subsequently developed into a Roman town.The historic background given below has been taken from the many excellent information boards dotted around the site.
You can also get a good feel for the area in our Roman Silchester: Pictured Walk page.
Points of Interest
About 10-15 minutes walk from the main car park is a large excavations site, where the lron Age occupation underlying the Roman settlement is being excavated. Amongst other archaeological points of interest, you can see the remains of an Iron Age street and the remains of the foundations of the great Iron Age timber hall.
Depending on the time of your visit, you might see the archaeologists at work. There are also several information boards, and small Roman gardens allowing an insight into what was grown back then.
This is one of the rare chances to see the remnants of an authentic Roman amphitheatre. The one at Silchester was a place of entertainment for the people of Calleva which could accommodate between 3,500and 7,250 spectators. Amphitheatres were typically used for gladiatorial combat, wild beast ﬁghts and public executions, and horse bones recovered here suggest that equestrian events took place. ln the 3rd century, the arena wall was rebuilt in stone and the creation of two new entrances changed the plan of the arena into a typical elliptical shape.
There are several possible walks of varying lengths, one of which is described in more detail in the page Roman Silchester: Pictured Walk. They all make for a relaxing stroll rather than a demanding hike, and the paths vary from open to shady. There are several points of interest, notably the excavation site, the amphitheatre and St Mary the Virgin church.