In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Silchester like this:
SILCHESTER, a village and a parish in Basingstoke district, Hants. The village stands adjacent to the ancient Caer-Segont, 2¼ miles SW of Mortimer r. station, and 7 N of Basingstoke; has a post-office under Basingstoke; and 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 Vindonis 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; was the place of the usurper Constantine's assumption of the purple in 407; was taken and destroyed by the Saxon Ella in 493; retains vestiges of its Roman streets, and portions of its Roman walls enclosing an area of about 120 acres; has remains of a Roman amphitheatre, 150 feet by 120; was found, by a discovery in 1833, to retain some large Roman baths; and has, at varions times, yielded large numbers of smaller Roman relics, including inscriptions, weapons, seals, rings, personal ornaments, and a profusion of coins. ...
The parish comprises 1,881 acres. Real property, £1,799. Pop., 480. Houses, 101. The manor belongs to the Duke of Wellington. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £400.* Patron, the Duke of Wellington. The church is ancient. There are a national school, and charities £15.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Silchester has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Basingstoke and Deane. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Silchester and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Silchester, in Basingstoke and Deane and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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