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Caerau Roman Site

A Scheduled Monument in Treflys, Powys

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Latitude: 52.1399 / 52°8'23"N

Longitude: -3.5745 / 3°34'28"W

OS Eastings: 292345

OS Northings: 250239

OS Grid: SN923502

Mapcode National: GBR YF.7B0R

Mapcode Global: VH5DG.0G5W

Entry Name: Caerau Roman Site

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 782

Cadw Legacy ID: BR148

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Fort

Period: Roman

County: Powys

Community: Treflys

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument is comprised of buried features and earthworks representing an auxillary Roman fort dating to around AD 75. The site comprises roughly trapezoidal earthwork, with rounded corners, roughly conforming to the standard playing card shape of Roman forts. It measures 167m long (NE/SW) by 110m long on the NW side and 117m long on the SE side, enclosing an area of around 1.8 hectares. The main rampart has been reduced by later farming activity to a single scarp around 1.5m high. A section of low bank does survive for a length of around 20m in the middle of the SE side. There are traces of a counterscarp bank in the S corner and a ditch along the NW side. The interior of the fort is subdivided by a scarp up to 1.8m high, orientated NW/SE around 60m from the NE rampart, which probably represents a later subdivision.

Excavations in 1958 revealed that the rampart had been built in two phases, one during the Flavian period (late 1st century AD) and the second in the early 2nd century AD. The initial phase of defences comprised a 7.6m wide clay bank set on a clay, cobble and turf base in front of which was a 4.5m wide and 1.4m deep ditch. A second ditch of similar proportions was located 3m from the outer edge of the inner ditch, which had a low counterscarp bank on its outer edge, while a third ditch lay beyond. In the second phase of the defences the two inner ditches were filled in and a single 6m wide ditch dug in their place, while the bank was enlarged and reinforced. In the interior of the fort the foundations of buildings from phase 1 were identified just inside the ramparts. These had been demolished and overlain by an intervallum road in phase 2. The excavations also revealed evidence for the vicus settlement in the field immediately NW of the fort.

Geophysical survey undertaken within the interior of the fort revealed traces of several buildings of different phases, as well as two roads and possible ovens built into the back of the ramparts. The survey also revealed further evidence for the vicus, revealing traces of a road with structures either side extending from the NW side of the fort.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Roman military organisation. The monument forms an important element within the wider context of the Roman occupation of Wales and the structures may contain well preserved archaeological evidence concerning chronology, layout and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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