Getting there: click
map for directions
For much more about Caerleon past
and present see www.caerleon.net
Caerleon, or Caerllion, is thought to have been an important town in Britain even before the Romans arrived and turned it into a major fortress. They called it Isca Silurum and housed their Second Augustan Legion there.
Caerleon has the only remains of a Roman legionary barracks to be seen anywhere in Europe. But Isca was not only a military base, it was a complete township with extensive baths and an amphitheatre – a dramatic setting still for theatre and festivals. The town’s Roman Legionary Museum provides a fascinating insight into what life was like for soldier and citizen.
The Normans also left their mark on the town, building a castle beside the River Usk. Most of it was destroyed but a tower remains next to the Hanbury Arms, reputed to be Caerleon’s oldest inhabited building.
Caerleon is also thought by some to have been the site of Camelot and King Arthur’s Round Table – certainly a King Arthur was crowned in Caerleon in the 5th Century AD.
The town has literary connections, too – the ancient Welsh bard Talhaiarn was educated there; Tennyson wrote his Idylls of the Kings while staying at the Hanbury Arms, and Caerleon was the birthplace of writer Arthur Machen.
Caerleon in literature