Roman / Celtic

The Roman period in Britain covers the years from 43 AD/ to 410 AD.

In Wales, it began when the Roman Army arrived here in around 48 AD/. They took about 30 years to conquer Wales.

At that time, there were five main Celtic tribes living in different parts of Wales. The tribe that lived in South Wales (including what is now Cardiff) was called the Silures.

The Silures were strong, brave people who fiercely defended their land and it seems that they put up a good fight when the Romans first arrived.

The Romans stayed in Wales for over 350 years. Most of those years would have been peaceful. Gradually the local people began to accept their rule, to learn from their ideas and inventions and adapt to their way of living.

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The Castle

The Romans built four forts in Cardiff. The first was the largest. If it was still there today, you wouldn’t be able to drive past the Castle because that fort would have been in the way!

It covered the road in front and at the side of the Castle and would have stretched into what is now called Bute Park (on the two other sides of the Castle).

The 2nd and 3rd forts were much smaller. Parts of those forts were on land that is now in Bute Park. If you look at the wall opposite the main entrance to the Castle, parts of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd forts were beyond that wall.

The 4th fort was the second largest of them all. If you were in an aeroplane flying over Cardiff Castle today and looked down at it, the outside walls show the size of the fourth fort.

See how the castle has changed over time

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Who ruled at the time

While the Romans were in Britain, they had many different emperors back in Rome - too many to mention here! Some of them only ruled for a very short time.

It is said that from the first emperor (Augustus) until the year 395 AD/, there were 147 emperors! Try using the internet and books if you can to see how many emperors there were between 43 & 410 AD/.

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If you were a Roman arriving in Cardiff for the first time, it would have looked totally different from the way it looks today.

The Romans would have been able to see the sea (what is now Cardiff Bay) clearly and the mountains that were nearby.

The river Taff that today runs through Bute Park from the sea would have been far closer to the Castle. The Romans would have thought it was a good place to build a fort because the river was so close. It meant they would have been able to bring what they needed to build the fort and much of the food that they needed in ships and would make trading with other countries far easier.

Recently, evidence has been found of people living on the land that is now covered by Cardiff Castle before the Romans, but we don’t know much about them yet. Time will tell!

Gwen Marcius Edmund Hywel Owain Clara Lady Mary Reginald
Romans & CeltsNorman/MedievalVictoriansWorld War ll