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.
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