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Caerleon Legionary Fortress

Excavations at Roman Isca

Since 2006, archaeologists have been undertaking a series of surveys and new research excavations at Caerleon. This website gives details of past, present and future work at the fortress of Isca, home of the Legion II Augusta for nearly 300 years during the Roman occupation of Britain.

New excavations in 2011: the Southern Canabae

Cardiff University are undertaking trial excavations in the area of recently-discovered monumental buildings outside the fortress, on the banks of the River Usk. This area of settlement outside of the walls (known as the canabae to the Romans) might be a major harbour facility, or a series of official and/or religious buildings.

Keep checking our blog to stay up-to-date with the latest discoveries!

Read the 2011 excavation blog

Follow CaerleonDig on Twitter

More about the background to the dig

Come and visit the dig!

Daily tours: 11am and 2.30pm (except Wednesdays), signposted from the amphitheatre car-park.

Open weekend: activities and tours will be running 10am-4.30pm, August 27th-29th.

This project, directed by Dr Peter Guest, is generously supported by Cardiff University, the Roman Research Trust, the Haverfield Bequest (University of Oxford), Newport City Council and many members of the Caerleon Community.

Priory Field Excavations 2007-2010

Cardiff University and UCL undertook a series of excavations in Priory Field, in the southern part of the fortress enclosure, between 2007-2010. After one season of trial excavations in 2007, this project focused on the examination of one wing of a large, square warehouse building. During the summers of 2008 and 2010, this building gave up many of its secrets, including a great deal of information about the equipment of the legionaries, and also an important story of late and post-Roman life in Caerleon.

Although this dig has now been completed, this website will be updated with reports of our progress in looking at the finds in more detail over coming months.

This project, directed by Dr Peter Guest and Dr Andrew Gardner, has been generously supported by Cadw, Cardiff University, UCL, National Roman Legion Museum, and many members of the Caerleon community.

See some of the finds from 2010

Read the 2010 excavation blog

More on the project's background

An aerial view of Caerleon, with the 2008 trench in the centre (Courtesy Stewart Ainsworth)
An aerial view of Caerleon, with the 2008 trench in the centre (Courtesy Stewart Ainsworth)

Open Day activities, 2010

Open Day activities 2010 (above) and 2008 (below)

Open Day activities, 2008

Useful Links
Caerleon Research Committee:
Cardiff School of History, Archaeology & Religion:
Council for British Archaeology:
Festival of British Archaeology:
National Roman Legion Museum:
UCL Institute of Archaeology:


Gardner, A. and Guest, P. 2010. Exploring Roman Caerleon: new excavations at the legionary fortress of Isca. Archaeology International 12, 47-51

Gardner, A. and Guest, P. 2009. 'Fortress Isca: A mighty Roman garrison', Current Archaeology 226, 31-37.

Guest, P and Young, T. 2006 'Mapping Isca: geophysical investigation of Priory Field, Caerleon', Archaeologia Cambrensis 155, 117-33.



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