Caerleon amphitheatre


Amphitheatre at Caerleon

The remains of the amphitheatre at Caerleon, on the River Usk, close to Newport, Wales, are spectacular. They should be, given that the Roman fortress here, Isca Silurum, was the headquarters of the Legio II Augusta for more than 200 years, from 75 – 300AD. There were many municipal buildings, and the Legion’s engineers built extensive bath houses (which have been excavated, and now form a spectacular museum).  Later, Caerleon was associated with King Arthur, and given as one of the possible sites for Camelot. Obviously, with the withdrawal of the Legions from Britain in 410AD, this place fell into a slow decline; it wasn’t until the establishment of a stone-built castle in the 13th century that it began to grow again.

Now, when you stand in the amphitheatre, you can almost feel the sand under your feet, and hear the roar of the beasts, matched only by the roar of the crowd. This site positively reeks of history. If you are ever in the County of Gwent, in South Wales, do NOT miss this; it is well worth the trip.

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