The earliest Christian churches of England must have been built‘while the Romans yet dwelt in Britain’. It is quite possible that some remains of them exist, unrecognized by modern eyes, and offering in their arrangements none of the conventions which have since so greatly influenced the development of the church plan. But we have at Silchester the plan of a building which has been claimed as a Christian church, probably of 4th century date, and of it we may say that if it be actually so—a matter which is not capable of definite proof,— it falls well enough into line with later churches of whose nature there can be no doubt. It is a little building with a rectangular nave flanked by side chambers or aisles and preceded by a porch. The nave ends in an apse, in this instance to the west, with transeptal chambers to north and south.
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