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Caerleon visit
#1
Salvete Fratres,

My wife and I have been to England a few times and we've been to the ruins in London, Bath and a few others. We are thinking about another trip to England sometime in the fall or early winter (October, November, December). We were thinking about going to the ruins and museum in Cirencester and the Fortress at Caerleon. (II AVGVSTA is one of my favorite legions.) I was wondering if anyone has visited these sites? Are they worth visiting? Is there anything there in particular that I should definitely see? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Also, are there any other roman sites around there that would be worth seeing? 

Vale,
Thomas Guenther
Thomas Guenther
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#2
I did, and they are. Cirencester has a great museum, Caerleon's is even better (at least when I visited). Also very nice is Caewent (Venta Silurum), which has much of the walls visible, a smaller museum at Gloucester, and the temple complex at Lyndney Park.
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagaz...omanSites/
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#3
(04-22-2018, 09:34 AM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: I did, and they are. Cirencester has a great museum, Caerleon's is even better (at least when I visited). Also very nice is Caewent (Venta Silurum), which has much of the walls visible, a smaller museum at Gloucester, and the temple complex at Lyndney Park.
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagaz...omanSites/

Robert,

Thanks for the information. Can you tell me what is actually at Caerleon? I know they have an amphitheater, but from what I understand its mostly just earth works (mounds). Are there any buildings, mosaics, walls, etc.? I ask as Caerleon would be the farthest place west that we would be going. Anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Thomas
Thomas Guenther
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#4
Caerleon has the remains of the fortress, the amphitheater - yes, just the remains and not much left standing. Great setting though and great museum with the mosaics and the stuff from the bath house. Same in Cirencester, but with a few sections of wall remains added. Caerwent has by far the highest walls so on your way to Caerleon I'd stop these for a short walk around the village.
Best google them all to get a good idea of what to expect.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#5
(04-22-2018, 11:31 AM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Caerleon has the remains of the fortress, the amphitheater - yes, just the remains and not much left standing. Great setting though and great museum with the mosaics and the stuff from the bath house. Same in Cirencester, but with a few sections of wall remains added. Caerwent has by far the highest walls so on your way to Caerleon I'd stop these for a short walk around the village.
Best google them all to get a good idea of what to expect.

Robert,

I appreciate all your help. 

Thanks,
Thomas
Thomas Guenther
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#6
Be sure to let us know when you've returned!
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#7
Hopefully things will work out and I'll get to visit there. Will let you know.

Cheers,
Thomas
Thomas Guenther
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#8
Hi Thomas,

If you are in that part of the world. Cardiff castle is well worth a visit - the main structures are medieval but the Roman fort is in the same site and there are reconstructed walls:

https://www.cardiffcastle.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Roman_Fort

It was heavily restored in the 19th C and is quite interesting otherwise.  Sadly as far as I am aware, there is no Roman gallery at the National Museum of Wales as they seem to take the view that this is all covered at the Caerleon museum.  The latter is excellent but they have some much Roman and Iron age stuff in Wales that I really feel they are missing the chance to enhance their display by not including the ancient period at the main museum in Cardiff.  I recall they did have Roman material back in the 1990s in the NMW in Cardiff.

Back in England, Great Witcombe Roman villa is not too far from Cirencester, and Chedworth Roman vllla is 20 minutes away by car.  These are not as spectacular as the villas you might see in Spain or France, but they are worth a look and anything run by the National Trust has a good catering facility to refuel.

A thought on the timing - if you visit in September, sites are likely to be open about an hour later than from October, and in the dog days of winter once you are into December/January, it gets dark about 3.30pm and winter closing may say 4pm or dusk if earlier, so you should check the websites for CADW and other guardians of the places you want to visit.  I think the baths at Caerleon are open until 5pm all year but the other sites (barracks, amphitheatre, walls etc) are in the open air so visitable at "any reasonable time" as they say in the books, but after 4pm in November you'll be tripping over in the dark!  Chedworth villa, for example, closes altogether at the end of November.

Regards,
John
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#9
(04-26-2018, 07:46 PM)John W Davison Wrote: Hi Thomas,

If you are in that part of the world. Cardiff castle is well worth a visit - the main structures are medieval but the Roman fort is in the same site and there are reconstructed walls:

https://www.cardiffcastle.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Roman_Fort

It was heavily restored in the 19th C and is quite interesting otherwise.  Sadly as far as I am aware, there is no Roman gallery at the National Museum of Wales as they seem to take the view that this is all covered at the Caerleon museum.  The latter is excellent but they have some much Roman and Iron age stuff in Wales that I really feel they are missing the chance to enhance their display by not including the ancient period at the main museum in Cardiff.  I recall they did have Roman material back in the 1990s in the NMW in Cardiff.

Back in England, Great Witcombe Roman villa is not too far from Cirencester, and Chedworth Roman vllla is 20 minutes away by car.  These are not as spectacular as the villas you might see in Spain or France, but they are worth a look and anything run by the National Trust has a good catering facility to refuel.

A thought on the timing - if you visit in September, sites are likely to be open about an hour later than from October, and in the dog days of winter once you are into December/January, it gets dark about 3.30pm and winter closing may say 4pm or dusk if earlier, so you should check the websites for CADW and other guardians of the places you want to visit.  I think the baths at Caerleon are open until 5pm all year but the other sites (barracks, amphitheatre, walls etc) are in the open air so visitable at "any reasonable time" as they say in the books, but after 4pm in November you'll be tripping over in the dark!  Chedworth villa, for example, closes altogether at the end of November.

Regards,
John
Hello John,

Thanks so much for all the information! I will definitely check out the two websites you listed. I will also take into consideration that the daylight hours will be shorter and that it will be colder. I know that up north at those times of year some places have limited hours or may be closed. Even some of the tranportation systems like buses have fewer trips or may not run. That time of year does present some challenges. Depending on weather conditions it may even make it difficult to travel, especially by bus or car...

All the best,
Thomas Guenther
Thomas Guenther
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