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GELLIGAER Mid Glamorgan, Wales.

Two Roman forts NW of the present village, in a commanding position close to the road from Cardiff to Brecon Gaer. Their defenses are clearly visible, though no detail is extant. Of the larger and earlier (179 x 136 m; ca. 2.4 ha) little is known. It was built ca. A.D. 75, and its timber buildings are of two periods. Occupation presumably ended with the building of the adjacent stone fort (123 x 120 m; ca. 1.5 ha). Defenses and internal buildings were of stone from the first. Fragments of three inscriptions from the gates reveal that it was built in the period A.D. 103-111. It was excavated in 1899-1901 and a complete plan is known. The six barracks indicate that it was occupied by a cohors quingenaria peditata, the smallest auxiliary unit in the Roman army. In addition to the barracks, the accommodation includes headquarters, commandant's house, granaries, hospital, workshop, store-buildings, and (probably) stable. The defenses are unusual, consisting of an earthen bank faced internally and externally with stone; the corner and interval turrets were built within the thickness of the bank.

A roughly paved area NE of the fort was presumably the parade ground. To the SE lay the bath house; various modifications to its structure indicate a long life. In a late stage of the occupation it was enclosed within an annex which also included other buildings of uncertain function. Occupation at Gelligaer continued into the 4th c., though it is not clear whether it was military or civilian.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

J. Ward, The Roman Fort at Gellygaer (1903)PI; G. C. Boon in V. E. Nash-Williams, The Roman Frontier in Wales (2d ed. by M. G. Jarrett 1969) 88-91MPI.

M. G. JARRETT

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