Venta Silurum – Caerwent

Venta was established by the Romans in AD 75 as an administrative centre for the defeated Silures tribe in Roman Wales. Venta Silurum seems to mean “Market town of the Silures”. This is confirmed by inscriptions on the “Civitas Silurum” stone, now on display in the parish church. The town, which was located on the Roman road between Isca Augusta (Caerleon) and Glevum (Gloucester) and close to the Severn estuary, was – in contrast with nearby “Isca” – essentially established for civilian administration rather than for military purposes. 

Visitor Tips – This whole site is free to access and has good parking and toilet facilities. If your considering a visit and want a guide I would recommend driving down to the post office to purchase the guide before parking or purchase before travelling to the site. If you park in the car park near the church you can walk across the road and start your walk along the boundary wall. If you follow the wall you eventually come to a great public house with children’s play area “The Coach & Horses”. Have a break for food and a drink and then either continue following the wall or move up through the centre of Caerwent visiting the Temple and the “Civitas Silurum Stone” in the church. This is a CADW site and a guide is essential for your visit so pick one up from Amazon before you go.

Above& Below: part of the town wall at Venta Silurum a town in the Roman province of Britannia or Britain. Today it is known as Caerwent in Monmouthshire, south east Wales. You can either walk the wall along the top or at the bottom, either option gives a great impression of the height of this wall. 

Above: Standing on the forum at Venta Silurum

Above: Look out across the forum and Basilica 

Above: The Court Yard House (1.28N)

Above: The Court Yard House (1.28N) Room 14 and the under floor heating stones of the hypocausts

Above: Remains of the shops now situated on Pound Lane. Notice the drainage channel at a 45 degree angle from the nearest wooden bollard

Above: Excavated foundations of the Romano-Celtic temple

Above & Below:  Some more views of the town wall which in places is impressively high.

Visitor Tip: If your visiting the site make sure you enter the Saxon church to see the famous Paulinus Inscription See Below. The inscription dedicated to Tiberius Claudius Paulinus, commander of the Second Augustan Legion at Caerleon. It reads “to Tiberius Claudius Paulinus commander of the second Augustan Legion, proconsul of the province of Gallia Narbonensis, now imperial governor of the province of Lagdunensis by decree of the council of the community of the state of the Silures”

 

Above: Also situated in the church entrance an alter dedicated to the British deity Mars-Ocelus which is a combining of the Celtic deity Ocelus and the Romano deity Mars

Recommended media: 

DVD “Roman Britain from the air” is a great documentary video that deals with the region of South Wales and presents some spectacular views of the area from the air.