The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


With the risk of criticism from some quarters, I think that this site should be included as its early history certainly falls within the TMA remit.

The late IA town's defensive earthworks covered almost as much area as the later (and more famous) Roman town. They are best seen on the N side by the car park where the ditch and bank are well preserved.

The Atrebates who lived here were a sophisticated lot who traded extensively with the Roman Empire and their "Kings" minted coins to claim their authority.

Passing over the later period, which of course is of more interest to Romanophiles, we come to the problem of why it was abandoned.
It had great trade and road links, a fertile hinterland which was well watered and a presumably stable and integrated population. Why didn't it become another Winchester?
The later pages of the University of Reading's website addresses these problems.

For such a famous site the access and information is rather poor.Go slowly down the narrow roads as the signs suddenly spring up and the car park on the N is very easy to miss. There are pamphlets available there.
jimit Posted by jimit
24th March 2010ce
Edited 29th March 2010ce

Comments (3)

Hello jimit, I can see no reason to apologise for posting what sounds like a very interesting late I.A. site, sounds a bit like the relationship between where I come from - Dorchester (Dorset) and Ilchester. Both were roman civitas capitals of the same tribe (Durotriges) and although not large Dorchester is the county town of Dorset and Ilchester is now a smallish village in Somerset. formicaant Posted by formicaant
25th March 2010ce
You really have to keep on your toes with this site as I nearly missed these fieldnotes. Silchester has intrigued me for many years - I live quite near Ermin Street which went from Cirencester to the village now known as Wanborough and onto Silchester - areas just north of Swindon (now incorporated into the town) are rich in archaeological evidence of the Roman occupation and I have long wondered why Silchester didn't become a town like Cirencester.

It is off topic I know - but still an important element of the rich tapestry of our history and the links are very interesting.
tjj Posted by tjj
25th March 2010ce
On a maginally less OT subject, I ended up here after a summer solstice at Avebury (with you no doubt Jimit). Basically I was falling asleep on my way back to London, turned off whatever road I was on, drove and parked up in a random carpark. 3 hours later I awoke and found myself here. Odd times. juamei Posted by juamei
25th March 2010ce
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