|Updated information for 2015: There is no Open Day this year University of Reading – Roman Silchester Open Days.|
The amphitheatre and walls of Roman Silchester are open to visitors all year round. You can follow the wall around for approximately two miles and also take a small detour to the amphitheatre. Silchester is one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain because of its late abandonment in the 5th century . (see map)
The central dig site is used by Reading University and not normally open to visitors. However, undergraduate students take up residence for 6 weeks a year and hold two open days. The days are aimed at anyone with an interest in the local archaeology and are particularly interesting for children.
An area is assigned for children to dig where they find tiles, parts of pots, even bones! They can even scrub the pieces clean and you might be surprised to see how keenly they can scrub and clean the finds! A skill that really ought to be helpful at home!
Tours of the site run regularly through the day – offering an incredible amount of insight and information by experts who have been back year after year. One of the biggest surprises may be how much iron age history is found in the area. Tours for children are also on offer, led by students. Some of the many finds are on show with experts on hand to explain their significance.
Children will be kept busy all day with craft activities, face painting and story-telling, which could more accurately be described as theatre – these myths were told so enthusiastically and children were encouraged to dress up and join in. Whenever, the storytime announcement was made, the children flocked to the incredible Jack who brought all the stories to life.