The Bathhouse

Looking south-west
Church view4
Neronian Phase
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First dug by Edwardian archaeologists in 1903-04, the bath house is located near a natural spring in the southeast of the town and is thought to be one of the earliest post-conquest masonry buildings in Calleva. Built askew to the later city street grid, the baths lie at the edge of the town’s early inner earthwork – using the spring as a source of water and the large defensive ditch for drainage.

Location of the baths

Here Mike gives an introduction to the baths in the first week of the maiden 2018 season

Nero depicted on an as coin from Insula IX

The bathhouse excavations are part of the Nero at Silchester project. You can find out more about our search for the notorious emperor’s influence at Calleva here

The excavation

Trench 1 from 2018 aimed to uncover much of the northern end of the building – the peristyle, associated colonnade and latrine – to see how it developed over time with the installation of the street.To the south, trenches 2 and 3 looked to reveal the relationship of the bath’s eastern wall to the ditch and nearby brook with this area providing one of the few unexcavated spaces within the Roman town. Trench 3 also focussed on one of the rooms on the eastern side of the building; a late tepidarium heated by an underfloor hypocaust system. Trench 4, opened in 2019, focussed on the western side of the building, eventually connecting with Trench 3 to provide a whole suite of rooms across the width of the building.  The Edwardian excavation of the bathhouse also yielded one of Silchester’s first Nero tiles, essential dating evidence that we hope to discover more of

The 2018 and 2019 trenches
The 1905 plan

For a summary of our findings from the last two years its best to peruse our interim reports for 2018 and 2019 which describe what we found and what we have learned about the baths

Phasing the baths. The Neronian phase (red) is quickly replaced by the Flavian rebuild (blue)

You can follow this series of videos to see the progress made at the end of weeks 1 and 3 at the baths in 2019

And these videos show each supervisor summing up their trench at the end of the season (follow on for Trenches 2 and 3)

Here Dan takes us through the work carried out on the Iron Age defensive ditch, from planning to excavation and then to the analysis in post-ex

Find out more…..

Amazing drone footage form above the trench

Mike gives a public lecture about 500 years of urban life at Silchester

Visit our blog for more information about the trenches and what to expect in a Roman bath

Here’s everyone in the trenches hard at work