Calleva Atrebatum - Roman Silchester

Calleva Atrebatum, Roman Silchester, was built upon the site of the native Atrebatic settlement of Calleva. The Atrebates appear to have been pro-Roman.

Calleva (Silchester) became an important Roman town and is now an important archaeological site with key excavations by Professor Mike Fulford of Reading University.
two sides of late Iron Age coin
The Late Iron Age gold coin (r) is inscribed 'Callev' for Calleva, and 'Eppi' for Eppillus, one of the ruling dynasty in the early first century AD.
Unlike many other Roman towns which continued in use after the withdrawal of Roman troops early in the 5th century AD (such as Winchester), Silchester was completely abandoned at the end of the Roman occupation. Consequently it has never been built on and the layout survives intact.

In England only two other Roman towns, Caistor in Norfolk and Wroxeter in Shropshire have survived to a similar extent. Today the interior of Silchester is buried and laid to pasture, and apart from the town walls and the amphitheatre there are no visible remains to be seen. The entire circuit of the town wall survives and it is one of the best examples of its kind.

The Silchester Roman Town Trail follows the entire circuit of these walls and the amphitheatre. Alternatively, a shorter route follows the southern half of the walls before passing through the centre of the town. Hampshire County Council owns the Roman Town, and the walls and the amphitheatre are in the care of English Heritage. In order to help preserve the walls visitors are requested not to walk or climb on the walls. The interior of the town is leased on an agricultural tenancy and is not accessible to the public.


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