Venta Silurum (Caerwent) Basilica

Forum - Basilica

In the central area of Caerwent stood the market place and civic hall, built in the early second century AD.

The forum was a paved rectangular open marketplace with colonnaded walks shading shops, offices, and taverns around the edge, while the paved central area provided space for market stalls. The ground floor shops each consisted of a single room, with a large shuttered open frontage.

It was entered through an archway from the main street. Opposite the entrance stood the basilica. This building was enormous, measuring 260 feet long and 182 feet wide.  the roof was supported by two rows of Corinthian columns. The basilica was used for public meetings and ceremonial functions.

It stood roughly 65 feet high. At either end of the main basilica hall you can see small chambers used by magistrates for hearing court cases. On the right hand side were a range of administrative rooms.

Excavations of Venta Silurum (Caerwent) Basilica

The site was first excavated in 1907 and 1909 which uncovered a complete plan of the basilica. Further excavations in 1987 uncovered more buildings for display.

Plan of Venta Silurum (Caerwent) Basilica

Venta Silurum (Caerwent) Basilica