Colchester

Towns and villas

Twelve miles east of Caerleon, the Romans established the town of Venta Silurum (Caerwent) as the provincial capital of the Silurians.

Settlements also grew around the major forts at Caerleon, Casws and Caernarfon. The first town in Wales, Venta Silurum (Caerwent), came to have a population of about 3,000.

The civitas at Caerwent eventually grew to house around 1,500 people and was for some time the largest population centre within Wales.

With its basilica, forum, baths, temples and town houses with their central heating, murals and mosaic floors, it was a miniature version of Rome itself, and was a fitting home for the Romanised British gentry.

Maridunum (Carmarthen) may also have been a tribal capital, although this is less certain. But we do know that the areas were frequently bustling urban areas.

A number of villas have been found across Wales, with the largest at Llantwit Major, another at Ely near Cardiff and at least three in the neighbourhood of Caerwent.


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