Sites & cities that bear the name of Caerleon


Today in : United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
First trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Isca Augusta, Cair Legeion guar Uisc, Caerllion

Description : Caerleon (/kərˈliːən/; Welsh: Caerllion) is a town and community on the River Usk situated 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the city of Newport, Wales and 5.5 miles (9 km) southeast of Cwmbran. Caerleon is of archaeological importance, being the site of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hillfort. Close to the remains of Isca Augusta are the National Roman Legion Museum and the Roman Baths Museum. The town also has strong historical and literary associations: Geoffrey of Monmouth elevated the significance of Caerleon as a major centre of British history in his Historia Regum Britanniae (c.1136), and Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote Idylls of the King (1859-1885) while staying in Caerleon. Caerleon is a site of considerable archaeological importance as the location of a Roman legionary fortress or castra. It was the headquarters for Legio II Augusta from about 75 to 300 AD, and on the hill above was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. The Romans called the site Isca after the River Usk (Welsh Wysg). The name Caerleon may derive from the Welsh for "fortress of the legion"; around 800 AD it was referred to as Cair Legeion guar Uisc. An aerial view of Caerleon's Roman amphitheatre site in 2005 Substantial excavated Roman remains can be seen, including the military amphitheatre, thermae (baths) and barracks occupied by the Roman Legion. In August 2011 the remains of a Roman harbour were discovered in Caerleon. According to Gildas, followed by Bede, Roman Caerleon was the site of two early Christian martyrdoms, those of Julius and Aaron. Recent finds suggest Roman occupation of some kind as late as AD 380. Roman remains have also been discovered at The Mynde, itself a distinctive historical site. Middle Ages During the Middle Ages, Caerleon or nearby Venta Silurum (now Caerwent) was the administrative centre of the Kingdom of Gwent. The parish church, St Cadoc's was founded on the site of the legionary headquarters building probably sometime in the 6th century. A Norman-style motte and bailey castle was built outside the eastern corner of the old Roman fort, possibly by the Welsh Lord of Caerleon, Caradog ap Gruffydd. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded that a small colony of eight carucates of land (about 1.5 square miles) in the jurisdiction of Caerleon, seemingly just within the Welsh Lordship of Gwynllwg, was held by Turstin FitzRolf, standard bearer to William the Conqueror at Hastings, subject to William d'Ecouis, a magnate of unknown antecedents with lands in Hereford, Norfolk and other counties. Also listed on the manor were three Welshmen with as many ploughs and carucates, who continued their Welsh customs (leges Walensi viventes). Caerleon itself may have remained in Welsh hands, or may have changed hands frequently.

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