Viroconium - The Old Work and Basilica

Viroconium, just southeast of Shrewsbury near Wroxeter, was once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain on a major Roman Road, Watling Street.

Excavations here have uncovered an extensive post-Roman refortification. The Roman stone buildings were replaced with timber halls and markets. A huge building was erected on the site of the Roman basilica and its has been conjectured that this was the palace of an important post-Roman ruler. Viroconium does not appear to have been burned or conquered, it seems to have run down gradually. Perhaps consistant with that ruler dying, and decline setting in.

Viroconium might well have been the most secure city in Britain in Arthurian times, as this area was not affected by the marauding Irish from the West, Picts from the North, and Anglo-Saxons from the East. So could have been a candidate for the site of Camelot.

Today you can see the imposing Old Work, and the outline of the Basilica, a long Roman building used for public meeting or judicial proceedings. The basilica at Viroconium is one of the largest in Roman Britain. The Old Work was part of the south wall that joined the basilica to the baths, which are also well preserved.

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