Discover urban-living 2,000 years ago at Viriconium (Wroxeter) – once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain. Wander the remains of the bathhouse and explore a reconstructed town house from a city which was almost as large as Pompeii. Discover the daily lives of the people who lived here with the audio tour and through their objects – found on display in the museum.
The Old Work
Standing proud over Wroxeter’s ruins is the iconic Old Work. This surviving 7 metre high basilica wall is the largest piece of free-standing Roman wall in the country. Look up at the wall to see double bands of orange-red tiles spearated by neatly laid bands of stonework on one side. On the other, the stonework is more plain and you can see regular rows of holes which would have been used to house scaffold during the construction.
Can you spot some of the original mosaic floor to the left of the doorway?
The Roman Town House
Built using only the tools and materials available to the Romans, the reconstructed town house was created in 2010 as part of a project with Channel 4. It is based on the design of a town house which once stood on the site at Wroxeter, and is complete with dining room, bath-suite and replica Roman furniture.
Walking through the house, you can get a sense of domestic Roman life and the exposed walls, show off the contruction techniques employed during Roman times.
Market Hall and Forum
The Market Hall was an important part of the baths complex where bathers would get food for their evening meal and the shop rents would have paid for the running of the baths.
You can still see the remains of the colonnade of the forum which is located across the road from the Market Hall, close to the Roman Town House. The forum functioned as a combined market, town & county hall and magistrates court. Whilst little of the original building now exists, you can imagine the imposing facade of this once great structure. Find out more here
The museum features a selection of fascinating Roman artefacts telling the story of how Wroxeter’s 5,000 inhabitants lived. Both the audio tour and the museum give a sense of daily life at the site, made up mainly of foot soldiers, who were all Roman citizens and 500 or so cavalrymen usually recruited from other tribes.
The 14th and 20th Legions are known to have been based at Wroxeter, firstly used as a fighting base and later a less important fortified store depot. Families will enjoy the Roman themed events in the holidays which give a sense of what life was like at that time.
Daily Roman LifeVisit the museum to see artefacts discovered at the site which tell the story of the lives of the people who lived at Wroxeter. Many trades flourished including tanneries, leather works and bone workers who created beautiful hair pins and you can see the remains of pottery, glassware and metal jewellery.
Finds have also included a 3rd or 4th century Roman silver mirror, coins, bronze and enamel brooches and metal bracelets; all of which give a glimpse of the sophisticated craft work taking place at the site. Find out more about the Romans