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This is an old revision of CLFBackground from 2010-04-12 14:50:20.

Caerleon Legionary Fortress

Priory Field Excavations 2008 and 2010

Project Background

The proposed surveys and excavations are part of a broader research project entitled Mapping Isca: the legionary fortress at Caerleon and its environs, which aims to investigate the layout, development and history of the fortress, its garrison and the population of the settlement beyond the fortress walls (the canabae). This project is supported by the Caerleon Research Committee (

Three legions were permanently garrisoned in the Roman province of Britannia. The other legionary bases are beneath the cities of Chester and York where excavation of the remains of Roman fortresses is very difficult. This means the archaeology at Caerleon is unique in Britain and important for the entire Roman Empire.

In 2004, Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, supported by Cadw, produced 'The Roman fortress at Caerleon & its Environs: a Framework for Research'. This document emphasised the layout of the fortress and the civilian settlement (canabae) outside its walls as research priorities, and also highlighted the potential of previously uninvestigated parts of the fortress, such as Priory Field, to produce significant results.

As a result of these recommendations Cardiff University and Cadw have commissioned extensive geophysical surveys of areas of the fortress and its canabae, which were undertaken in 2006 and 2007 (see Guest and Young 2007). In 2007 Cardiff University and UCL excavated a series of evaluation trenches to investigate some of the buildings located by the geophysical surveys, to evaluate the character of the surviving archaeology in Priory Field and to examine a building excavated in Golledge's Field in the 1930s. An interim report on this work is available on the Caerleon Research Committee website

Excavations in Golledge's Field
Excavations in Golledge's Field 2007


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