Caerwent: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Caerwent.

  • Caerwent is a village near Chepstow in Monmouthshire, South Wales. It is well known for its Roman settlement of Venta Silurum which has some of the best preserved Roman remains in Europe.
  • The Romans built Caerwent in about 75 AD, to govern the area’s defeated Silures tribe.
  • The Silures tribe may have originated in Spain.
  • The site probably covered about 45 acres. It included farms and private homes, a market place, public baths and the forum (the settlement’s public square or meeting place).
  • Long parts of the walls, which were up to 5 metres high, can still be seen. Visitors can also see the remains of shops and houses as well as a temple.
  • Although Caerwent was an important site, it never became one of the larger or more complex Roman settlements. It was probably an administrative centre rather than a military one.
  • In the late 19th century, part of a complicated floor mosaic was found in the garden of a nearby cottage. It was made of perfectly fitting small tiles and showed different species of fish.
  • Other items found from Roman times include coins, pottery, glassware and human bones. In 2008 part of a knife showing 2 fighting gladiators was found at Caerwent.During the Middle Ages, Caerwent remained important as a strategic crossing point between larger settlements.
  • It was the site of a propeller factory during World War 2.
  • Caerwent may also have been the birthplace of St. Patrick who lived in the area as a child before going to Ireland. He is famous for supposedly banishing all the snakes from Ireland.
  • Many tombs dating from between the 4th and 9th centuries, have been discovered at Caerwent. Archaeologists have also found brooches and other jewellery from the same time period.

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