Caerleon – Haunt of the Romans – Tuesday June 26th, 2007

Caerleon was quite an interesting little town. It had some crenallated walls from medieval times and many quaint old buildings. A priory had been turned into a restaurant and meeting hall for weddings or parties. There were also a number of old English Tudor era buildings. We had a bit of a surprise when a couple of very large farm tractors drove past us with tires 6 feet tall.
We visited all the Roman remains including the Bath house, Barracks museum, Legion museum and the Roman Amphitheater.
The Bath house was impressive in how complex the drainage and water supply was built as well as the stonework and mosaics. The Bath house was so well constructed it continued to stand for another 1200 years after the Romans left Britain.
The Roman Legion museum was full of old artifacts including weapons such as daggers, helmets, arrows and spears. It also contained pottery, glassware bottles, brick, tiles, jewelry and even gravestones. Just about anything a Roman Legion would use while stationed in south east Wales could be seen.
Before going to the Amphitheater, we decided to have a late lunch. We walked to a couple of nearby pubs but they didn’t serve food in the mid afternoon. We walked about a half mile to a pub called “The Ship” which serves all day. Lois and I had a Lamb pot pie and Shannon had pasta with tons of cheese on top, while Stuart had fish and chips. The food was very good. Once satisfied, we walked back to see the amphitheater.
This Amphitheater is the only fully excavated example in Britain and would seat 5000 to 6000 people. One wonders how many Gladiators lost their lives or men who had been sentenced to punishment or death here at the hands of Gladiators or wild animals. I guess that’s something for archaeologists and historians to sift through and find these voices lost to history.
Once we were done exploring the Amphitheater, we walked back to where the car was parked, near the Bath house. Along the way, we stopped in at the local Tourism Bureau. There was a very helpful lady there that knew the area very well and gave us directions to a grocery store as well as the route back to Abergavenny.

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