Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


31.5.08
  The Romans Got There As Well

And what they built must have been as impressive as the castles, about 2000 years ago. The problem is that for one, more time has passed since they left what they called Britannia in 410 AD, then their finely chiselled stones were often reused (some even in the castles) and today some of their remains are found under houses that can't just be torn down to excavate more Roman foundations.

Hypocaust heating of the fort bath, found in a cellar in Chester

But enough remains to get a feeling for the former splendour. Like the baths in Caerleon which would put some modern leisure centres to shame.

Main bassin in the Caerleon baths, 42 metres in length

Or the arena, also in Caerleon, which albeit overgrown with grass still displays the wide diameter of the original structure, though not its height.

Roman arena in Caerleon

Caerleon was a legionary fort, not an auxiliary fortress like the ones at the Hadrian's Wall and the German limes, and thus everything comes a bit larger. After all, a legion consisted of abut 5,000 men - not counting the slaves - and even if some of them were dispatched elsewhere most of the time, Caerleon was constructed to house the whole lot.

Barrack row at Caerleon fort

The Romans not only built two legionary forts at Caerleon and Chester (Deva) and littered Wales with auxuliary fortresses (one - Segontium - can be found in Caernarfon), they also built a town at Caerwent.

Flowers on the Roman east wall of Caerwent

What the Roman places had in common with the Norman castles were big walls. Makes you wonder why. *grin*
 
Comments:
My walls are bigger than your walls? *g*
 
Lol, it's rather that the Silures and Ordovici were as fond of the Romans as Llyelyn ap Iorweth and his successors were of Henry II and Edward Longshanks. :)
 
Welcome back, Gabriele. I find the bath houses etc fascinating. Great photos. It's very green.
 
Once again, nice pics. I remember now that once - a long, long time ago - I went to Caerleon. Can't remember why though...
 
Thanks Shelley. Yes, it is very green. Must the all that rain that kept missing me. :)

School trip, Lady D? The Romans are very popular with teachers. ;)
 
*cries with envy*

Seriously, I'm about the same colour as the Caerleon amphitheatre.

Hm... big walls... drive to conquer... I think that one speaks for itself. ;)
 
Tsk, tsk, Kirsten, that colour clashes with your T-shirt. :)

Seriously, for anyone living in England no place except maybe the uttermost north of Scotland is so far away. You should go there - Caerwent and Caerleon are pretty close to each other.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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Location: Germany

I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


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