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Latitude: 51.6097 / 51°36'34"N
Longitude: -2.9532 / 2°57'11"W
OS Eastings: 334092
OS Northings: 190528
OS Grid: ST340905
Mapcode National: GBR J7.9XHN
Mapcode Global: VH7B6.RSNV
Entry Name: Caerleon Legionary Fortress: Former Garden of The Firs
Scheduled Date: 20 February 1990
Source ID: 3510
Cadw Legacy ID: MM248
Schedule Class: Defence
Category: Legionary fortress
County: Newport (Casnewydd)
Community: Caerleon (Caerllion)
Built-Up Area: Caerleon
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
The monument comprises buried features and earthworks representing part of a Roman legionary fortress. The fortress at Caerleon, or Isca, is one of only three permanent legionary fortresses in Britain and was founded around AD75. Its construction was probably linked to the campaigns of the Governor of Britannia, Julius Frontinus, against the Silures. The fortress was home to the 2nd Augusta Legion, a legion of over 500 men. The site of the fortress was chosen for its position on gently rising ground adjacent to the river Usk at a point where it could be bridged but was also accessible to sea-going ships, and on the road between Wroxeter, Gloucester and Carmarthen. The fortress covered an area of 50 acres and conformed to the standard playing card design, had a gated entrance in the middle of each side and was divided into insulae, or blocks, by a network of roads. The fortress was in use by the 2nd Augusta Legion until around AD300 after which it continued to be partly occupied although there is no clear evidence to determine whether the occupation was military or civilian. The site covers a section of the barrack blocks located immediately inside the S defences. An adjacent section (MM242) was partly excavated in the 1930s in advance of the construction of new housing. The excavations revealed a complex sequence of occupation including 4th century evidence which is extremely rare in Caerleon.
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.
Other nearby scheduled monuments