Silchester Roman Town, Visitor Experience Research

Client: Hampshire County Council

Silchester Roman town was called Calleva Atrebatum in Roman times when it was the regional capital. The town was an important administrative and commercial centre for 400 years, and was a prosperous community of perhaps 5000 people, with bathhouses, temples, civic buildings, an amphitheatre, large and small domestic dwelling, workshops and stables surrounded by the walls. The name Calleva comes from the large Iron Age settlement that was on the site before the Roman town. It was protected by defensive banks and archaeological excavation shows us that it was thriving with a close relationship to the Roman continent.

Planning Solutions Consulting worked with the client team to understand the needs of current visitors to Silchester Roman Town, a nationally important heritage site in Hampshire. PSC carried out a module of visitor experience research and our work incorporated:

  • 14 days of onsite fieldwork
  • Developing online and offline surveys
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Detailed analysis of the primary research data

Key challenges

  • Developing an engaging questionnaire
  • Ensuring that enough responses were generated in a relatively short period of time
  • Balancing the needs of different audiences
  • Being sensitive to the needs of different stakeholders

Key outcome
The key outcome of the primary research has enabled the client team to understand the behaviour and aspirations of current users of the sites. It has also helped to identify dwell-time, travel time, group size and the age profile of visitors.

You can find out more about Silchester Roman Town here.