Excavations 2021: The Silchester baths

Looking south-west
Church view4
Neronian Phase
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We will be updating this page in the coming months. For more details of the 2021 season please see our social media feeds

For a summary of our findings from the 2019 summer season please read our interim report 

The 2019 trenches

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. 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.

Location of the baths

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 1905 plan

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

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