Ancient Monuments

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Caerleon Legionary Fortress: Grounds of the Croft Nursing Home

A Scheduled Monument in Caerleon (Caerllion), Newport (Casnewydd)

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Latitude: 51.6123 / 51°36'44"N

Longitude: -2.9565 / 2°57'23"W

OS Eastings: 333865

OS Northings: 190815

OS Grid: ST338908

Mapcode National: GBR J7.9P1F

Mapcode Global: VH7B6.PQWX

Entry Name: Caerleon Legionary Fortress: Grounds of the Croft Nursing Home

Scheduled Date: 27 January 1993

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3315

Cadw Legacy ID: MM246

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Legionary fortress

Period: Roman

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 Carmathen. The fortress covered an area of 50 acres and conformed to the standard playing card design, and had a gated entrance in the middle of each side. 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 scheduled area contains the remains of barrack blocks located inside the N defences, to the E of the N fortress gate. These remains are a continuation of the barracks in MM233 and were subject to partial excavation in the 1960s. The excavations revealed five successive phases of occupation and rebuilding between the foundation of the fortress to the 3rd century AD. The barrack blocks would have housed a legionary century (80 men), with 10 groups of eight men sharing two rooms. The smaller of the two rooms would have been used for storage and the larger room for sleeping. The centurion’s residence, which included housing for junior officers and also offices, would have been located at the N end of each barrack block.

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

Source: Cadw

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