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Silchester, Hampshire

Historical Description

Silchester, a village and a parish in Hants. The village stands adjacent to the ancient Caer Segont, 4 miles SW of Mortimer station on the G.W.R., and 7 N of Basingstoke. It has a post and money order office under Mortimer; telegraph office, Mortimer. Acreage of parish, 1945; population, 456. Silchester gives the title of Baron to the Earl of Longford. Caer Segont was the chief town of the ancient British Segontiaci, became the Roman city Calleva, long but erroneously regarded as the Roman Vindomis or Vindonum, was called by the Saxons Selceastre or Silchester, signifying " the castle in the wood;" seems to have been, in the Saxon and earlier times, surrounded by a region of thick forest; stood on the Roman road from London to Bath, at the junction of Roman roads from Salisbury and Winchester; is supposed to have been the place of the usurper Constantine's assumption of the purple in 407. and to have been taken and destroyed by the Saxon Ella in 493. It retains vestiges of its Roman streets, and the foundations of the forum and basilica, also the greater part of the city wall, enclosing an area of 100 acres; has outside the city remains of a Roman amphitheatre, 150 feet by 120, and has at various times yielded large numbers of Roman relics, including inscriptions, weapons, seals, rings, personal ornaments, and a profusion of coins. The site is being systematically excavated by the Silchester Excavation Fund, under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries. The manor belongs to the Duke of Wellington. Silchester Hall is the chief residence. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester; net value, £200. Patron, the Duke of Wellington. The church is ancient, but has been restored. It partly covers the site of two Roman temples. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Ecclesiastical parishSilchester St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBasingstoke 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Silchester from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hampshire (County Southampton) is available to browse.


Online maps of Silchester are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hampshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575, & 1622-34 is available to view on the Heraldry page.

DistrictBasingstoke and Deane
RegionSouth East
Postal districtRG7
Post TownReading