Caerleon Roman Remains (Newport - Wales)

Roman Baths, Wall & Amphitheatre

From Barry my final stop in South Wales was at Caerleon. In my university art history classes, I had learnt about how the ancient Greeks and Romans have extensive public bath and work outs! The difference between them being open to all vs only men! Greeks had their gymnasium and n*ked sports practice (they're the founders of Olympics, right!), alongside their extensive spa like public bath, which wasn't open to women! However in course of time in Roman period, the spa became all the more extensive and also open to women and children.

The 3 main sections were Tepidarium (warm water), Caldarium (hot steam), and Frigidarium (cold water). After exercising in the indoor hall or outdoor pool, the first stop is at the Frigidarium to cool the body. Then is the Tepidarium where they apply scented oils on their body and step into the sauna like Caldarium to sweat it off! After scraping off the sweat, oil, dirt & grime, the final step is again into the Frigidarium. The prime purpose of this was to keep the soldiers acclimatized to all weather conditions, no matter where they go to battle!
One pool with its bricks still intact, the rest of the structure is gone. Presently lighting effect and LED display give an idea of how it may have been in the ancient times. All pools had good draining system to keep the water clean and flowing. In course of time, several jewelry like rings and semi precious stones that fell of the jewelry where found in the drain and are now kept in the Caerleon Museum. The Museum also has all things excavated here incl jewelry, pottery, glassware, weapons, coins, head stones and a lot more.
But the thing that attracted me the most in the Museum was the sarcophagus of a man with his remains, in display!!!
The bath built about 85 CE and there were pet dogs or atleast stray dogs at that point of time. How do I know? Paw prints on the bricks that has got permanent over time, now. There's also a human foot with shoe, probably the guy who tried to shoo away the dog! Another tile has a deliberate engraving that says LEG II AVG meaning this was during the Legion of Augustus II. 

Also in display here were some products they used. Here are a few that caught my attention. Guess what - our laptop crossbody bags are 2000 yrs old!!! The footwear of the era; The sickle shaped Strigil that was used to scrap of oil & dirt; And that stick with sponge on one end is actually their re-usable tissue!!!! Yeah, that was dunked into vinegar (to kill germs) and used to wipe after bowels!!!!!!!!! 
An awesome factor of Roman Civilization is their mosaic work. The intricate, detailed, 3 dimensional art works all made with marble chips of various colors always blew my mind!!!

A short walk from here takes to the Amphitheatre. It isn't very big and cannot be compared to Colosseum or similar structures. The entire place is covered with green grass reminding me much of Old Sarum

Almost opposite to this is the Barracks where the soldiers would have lived. Its said that each room housed upto 8 soldiers. Within this premises is also the public toilet for the soldiers! The way only the foundation is visible, this place pretty much reminded me of Dholavira and Lothal.
Yes, I did one blunder. I could have visited the Newport Cathedral before heading to Carleon coz it closes by 4pm and I could be at Carleon till about 5:30 or till dusk! Sadly I went to Caerleon first and by the time I came back to Newport it was 4 and there was nothing I could do!!! Once bitten, twice shy - I'm shy! Doing this blunder the 2nd time after missing Salisbury Catherdral after Old Sarum in a pretty much same way!

P.S: Check out here to know what I wore to the trip

Timings (Winter/Summer):
Baths: 9:30 AM (11:00 on Sun) to 4:00/5:00 PM
Amphitheatre: 9:30 AM (11:00 on Sun) to 4:00/5:00 PM
Museum: 10:00 AM (2:00PM on Sun) to 5:00 PM
Admission Free everywhere.

To get there:
Buses are available from Newport. 
Buses accept cash (coins, not notes). One way costed about £2.

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

20 comments:

  1. A Roman Bath in England - I am intrigued, do tell us how it came to be ?

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  2. I have read about Roman baths particularly this one in Caerleon and have been intrigued by them. In fact I have included this in my bucket list of places to see. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

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  3. These are the kind of places that appeal to me. They're absolutely mind-blowing and I am sure that picture don't do enough justice to capture the beauty of these places.

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  4. Wow! The Romans sure knew how to enjoy life! That's such an amazing experience, to tour these places and get an idea of how life was like for them back then. I wouldn't mind overstaying in a spa! That's awesome.

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  5. The architecture is just beautiful, the products, too. I like the sound of Wales. I wish I could visit it soon.

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  6. This is so cool and I love how you go to the most amazing places! So, they allow guests to bathe? It's so nice how they've managed to maintain these bath houses / spas. I sure would want to visit in one of my future trips.

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  7. Oh, wow! I really would want to see this place! This is awesome, to think that the items featured here are centuries-old already. It's really amazing to revisit places that speak volumes of stories about our history.

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  8. That's an interesting trip you've had. IT's nice to read about it and see the pictures.

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  9. I love ancient places and ruins. You must have had a good adventure. I was surprised that this in South Wales. I hope I can visit there someday!

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  10. I've seen all your posts about Wales and it makes me want to visit even more. I know that it will be a lot of fun based on your own experiences.

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  11. oh wow a lot of history. i love history myself and never thought this would be in wales

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  12. This sounds like an awesome experience. I definitely want to experience an authentic bath as well!

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  13. It would really be nice to to see the ancient public baths here. It's also nice to see the remains of the barracks.

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  14. Ancestral finest treasures at its best on display. History affirms the Romans are excellent at maintaining different edifices of wonders for humanity to savor.

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  15. I love these places - with vestiges of the past. I'd definitely visit this one! Lovely photos as well!

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  16. How amazing if you can actually hold art history classes by travelling to all these ancient places. This looks like a very interesting place to visit because of the history in those stones.

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  17. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I will take note of the timing and plan it before i go.

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  18. Wow! amazing place it must be. It has still kept the past so alive. Pet dogs thing is so cute to imagine.

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  19. That's too bad, you missing the operating hours of the cathedral, but this trip already looks fun and amazing, not to mention really informative. I love the craftsmanship of the bag!

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  20. I went to the city of Bath in England and I fell in love with the historical site, going for the tour was indeed lovely. Your post reminds me of my time there!

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