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CARDIFF S. Glamorgan, Wales.

Finds from central Cardiff, close to the head of the tidal waters of the Taff, suggest Roman occupation (probably military) from the late 1st c. A.D. The earliest structural evidence is the fort built late in the 3d c. or early in the 4th. No systematic excavation has been undertaken, but the coin list runs as late as the reign of Gratian (A.D. 383-388). The fort measures 195 by 183 m inside its stone defenses, which were equipped with a series of semi-octagonal projecting bastions. An earthen bank, presumably derived from an external ditch, lay against the inner face of the wall. Metaled streets led from the single-arched gates in the N and S sides.

In the 12th c. and later, Cardiff Castle was built within the fort, reusing its fallen defenses. Some idea of the original appearance of the fort may be gained from work undertaken at the end of the 19th c. The E half of the castle is a careful restoration of the Roman walls and N gate, in which the Roman facing can be seen below the modern rebuilding; beneath the modern wall the Roman core survives in places to a height of 3 m.


J. Ward, “Cardiff Castle: its Roman origin,” Archaeologia 57 (1899-1901) 335-52; id., “Roman Cardiff,” Archaeologia Cambrensis 63 (1908) 29-64I; id., “Roman Cardiff II,” ibid. 68 (1913) 159-64; id., “Roman Cardiff III,” ibid. 69 (1914) 407-10; R.E.M. Wheeler, “Roman Cardiff: supplementary notes,” AntJ 2 (1922) 361-70; V. E. Nash-Williams, The Roman Frontier in Wales (2d ed. by M. G. Jarrett 1969) 70-73MPI.


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