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National Roman Legion Museum

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Caerleon in Wales, is the site of one of only three permanent Roman fortresses in Britain. It was built in 75AD, and was used to guard the surrounding area for over 200 years.  Archaeological excavations over the centuries have amassed a huge amount of finds, which give an insight into life for the Romans during their occupation of Wales. Evidence has been found that there were in fact two bases, called Isca and Burrium, and settlements that evolved around them.

National Roman Legion Museum

The surviving remains include the most intact amphitheatre in the UK, and the only Legionary Barracks' remains anywhere in Europe. Visitors to the National Roman Legion Museum can also see what is left of the Roman baths and swimming pool. At times it is difficult to imagine how the remnants would have looked originally, but large displays illustrate how the remains fitted into the overall building scheme, bringing them to life.   There is a recreated Roman garden within the grounds, which contains many plants that the Romans grew for food and for medicinal purposes. 

The museum is aimed at showing visitors what life was like for the Romans who inhabited Caerleon during that time. Artefacts from the fortress site and reconstructions, are used to tell visitors about the Romans' various jobs, leisure time, art, diet, achievements and religion. 

Found in a well, a wooden tablet is on display, upon which is written information about guards collecting the pay, and groups of people being sent to gather wood for building material. It dates from the founding of the fortress and is the oldest piece of writing in Wales. 

A great amount of gemstones have been retrieved from beneath the floor of the baths. Over the 200 years that the Romans occupied the site, a great many bathers must have lost stones from their jewellery as the collection is one of the largest! 

One of the main attractions of the museum is the Bathstone Coffin, which contains the remains of a 2nd century man who was buried with a cup and a perfume bottle.  Visitors with wheelchairs and prams can access the building and displays. There are toilets, disabled toilets and baby change facilities on site. Entrance is free and there is a gift shop. 

Contact Details:
National Roman Legion Museum,
High Street,
Caerleon,
Newport,
Tel: 01633 423 134 

 



 

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