The Brythonic name Isca means "water" and refers to the waters


                                      The suffix Augusta appears in the Ravenna Cosmography and was an honorific title taken from the legion stationed there.

The place is commonly referred to as Isca Silurum to differentiate it from Isca Dumnoniorum and because it lay in the territory of the Silures tribe.

However, there is no evidence that this form was used in Roman times.

The later name, Caerleon, is derived from the Welsh for "fortress of the legion".

DSC_0138
DSC_0139
DSC_0140
DSC_0141
DSC_0142
DSC_0169
DSC_0173
DSC_0146
DSC_0174
DSC_0175
DSC_0167
DSC_0170
DSC_0171
DSC_0330
DSC_0147
DSC_0179
DSC_0180
DSC_0144
DSC_0177
DSC_0178
DSC_0193
DSC_0176
DSC_0143
DSC_0182
DSC_0181
DSC_0191
DSC_0195
DSC_0196
DSC_0201
DSC_0184
DSC_0186
DSC_0205
DSC_0198
DSC_0190
DSC_0183
DSC_0241
DSC_0185
DSC_0257
DSC_0258
DSC_0309
DSC_0276
DSC_0202
DSC_0189
DSC_0204
DSC_0200
DSC_0197
DSC_0206
DSC_0192
DSC_0194
DSC_0199
DSC_0207
DSC_0208
DSC_0209
DSC_0210
DSC_0219
DSC_0220
DSC_0221
DSC_0228
DSC_0232
DSC_0233
DSC_0239
DSC_0243
DSC_0244
DSC_0245
DSC_0249
DSC_0331
DSC_0254
DSC_0255
DSC_0256
DSC_0222
DSC_0248
DSC_0262
DSC_0266
DSC_0250
DSC_0264
DSC_0267
DSC_0268
DSC_0271
DSC_0251
DSC_0273
DSC_0217
DSC_0137
DSC_0230
DSC_0234
DSC_0235
DSC_0240
DSC_0237
DSC_0238
DSC_0242
DSC_0247
DSC_0253
DSC_0278
DSC_0246
DSC_0261
DSC_0260
DSC_0263
DSC_0275
DSC_0265
DSC_0269
DSC_0272

 The Brythonic name Isca means "water" and refers to the waters

    

Isca Augusta or Isca Silurum,was the site of a Roman legionary fortress and settlement or vicus, the remains of which lie beneath parts of the present-day suburban village of Caerleon in the north  of the city of Newport in South Wales.



The site includes Caerleon Amphitheatre and is protected by Cadw.

Headquarters of the Legion "II Augusta", which took part in the invasion under Emperor Claudius in 43,


Isca is uniquely important for the study of the conquest,pacification and colonisation of Britannia by the Roman army.


It was one of only three permanent legionary fortresses in later Roman Britain and, unlike the other sites at Chester and York, its archaeological remains lie relatively undisturbed beneath fields and the town of Caerleon and provide a unique opportunity to study the Roman legions in Britain. Excavations continue to unearth new discoveries, in the late 20th century a complex of very large monumental buildings outside the fortress between the River Usk and the amphitheatre was uncovered.This new area of the canabae was previously unknown.


The Brythonic name Isca means "water" and refers to the waters
The suffix Augusta appears in the Ravenna Cosmography and was an honorific title taken from the legion stationed there.


The place is commonly referred to as Isca Silurum to differentiate it from Isca Dumnoniorum and because it lay in the territory of the Silures tribe. However, there is no evidence that this form was used in Roman times.

The later name, Caerleon, is derived from the Welsh for "fortress of the legion".

Archaeological discovery of tin ingots at the River Erme estuary wreck such that the local area was a significant tin trading port in ancient times ; it is unclear whether the ingots date from the Iron Age or Sub-Roman periods, however this discovery so close to Burgh Island has drawn comparisons with Diodorus Siculus 1C BCE text, more often associated with St Michaels Mount in Cornwall;
"At this time we shall treat of the tin which is dug from the ground.

Those who dwell near Belerium, one of the headlands of Britain, are especially fond of strangers, and on account of their trade with the merchants they have a more civilized manner of living. They collect the tin after the earth has been skillfully forced to yield it.

Although the land is stony, it has certain veins of earth from which they melt and purify the metal which has been extracted. After making this into bars they carry it to a certain island near Britain called Ictis. For although the place between is for the most part covered with water, yet in the middle there is dry ground, and over this they carry a great amount of tin in wagons. . . . Thence the merchants carry into Gaul the tin which they have bought from the inhabitants. And after a journey of thirty days on foot through Gaul, they convey their packs carried by horses to the mouths of the Rhone River." 
                  Though the early history of the island is unclear, however it is mentioned in early records and on maps as St Michael's Island. Later the name changed to Borough Island, eventually being corrupted to Burgh. As late as 1947 an Ordnance Survey map refers to the island as Borough Island. In 1908 a postcard produced by Stengel & Co Ltd of London [4] referred to it as Burr Island.



A map published in 1765 shows "Borough or Bur Isle".

The Dumnonii of Devon (and Cornwall) were not as advanced as their neighbours in Dorset and Somerset, nor as most other contemporary tribes of lowland Britain. They struck no coins, and for internal exchange seem to have relied on iron currency-bars, a hoard of which has been found at Holne Chase near Ashburton. These, whose value lay in the fact that they could be converted by any smith into implements or weapons, were made in several standard sizes. Coins of Gaulish and of other British peoples however have been found at Mount Batten (Plymouth), showing that some overseas trad­ing existed long before the coming of the Romans.

Besides the use of the rivers, inland movement was possible along the ridgeways, which followed  watersheds, avoiding valley forests and swamps.  These tracks had been in use since early Bronze Age times, and ran close to many hill-forts. Some remain in use as roads today, and one forms a long stretch of the county border on Exmoor.

The Iron age produced most, if not all, of the earthwork forts which still crown hill-tops and clif1s in the Devon landscape. Their construction seems to have begun in the third century BC, in response to further waves of invasion, and to have continued with new building or strengthening for two hundred years. Few sites have yet been properly excavated, and the events of this period are at present less clear than, for example, in Dorset. Evidence suggests that successive invaders crossed the sea from Brittany, established themselves at first near the estuaries of the south coast, and then penetrated inland, either building forts themselves or causing the previous inhabitants to do so for protection. The earliest examples show a single line of rampart and ditch, either cutting off the neck of a headland (‘promon­tory fort’) or following the contour of a hill-top. The ramparts were often revetted with stone or turf or timber, to give a more perpendicular profile than is seen today. One such, Cranbrook above the upper Teign, was never finished, possibly because those building it were attacked and overwhelmed before they could do so.

Later forts were built or remodelled with two or more lines of rampart, following the introduction of sling-warfare from Brittany in the first century BC, and the outstanding example in Devon is Hembury near Honiton. This crowns a bold promontory with close-set double or triple lines, designed not for successive defence but to keep attackers at a distance where the defenders, shooting downhill, could reach them without being hit in return. Digging here has revealed stocks of sling-pebbles, signs of a stockade on the inner rampart, and timber platforms for slingers at the gates. This is one of a group in the south-east of the county, possibly built to resist the warlike Durotriges of Dorset, but equally possibly taken over and reconstructed by them— since Duro­trigan pottery has been found in the later layers.

A peculiar type of defended settlement, found only in Devon and Cornwall, appeared in the first century BC. These were built on a slope rather than a hill-top, and had widely spaced concentric en­closures. One such, at Milber near Newton Abbot, has an almost rectangular centre, presumably for habitation. Two outer enclosures were probably for stock, while a larger but indefensible one may have been for cultivation. At Clovelly Dykes in North Devon is a similar example, probably representing a separate invasion by the same people by way of the Bristol Channel.

By no means all the Iron Age population lived in or near the forts, though their distribution on the map may be some guide to the most populated parts of the country at the time. The commonest type of settlement was probably in undefended farmsteads, and remained so throughout the Roman period; but these, unlike the forts, are difficult to trace. Most Iron Age farming in Devon was still mainly pastoral rather than arable, and many small ring-works may have served as cattle-enclosures rather than as defences.


The climate of the Iron Age was, comparatively cool and wet, making the higher ground previously used by Bronze Age people no longer habitable, while the valley soils had not yet been opened up by clearance and drainage. Most of the Iron Age popu­lation seems to have lived somewhere near the 500-foot (150-metre) contour.

The Dumnonii of Devon (and Cornwall) were not as advanced as their neighbours in Dorset and Somerset, nor as most other contemporary tribes of lowland Britain. They struck no coins, and for internal exchange seem to have relied on iron currency-bars, a hoard of which has been found at Holne Chase near Ashburton. These, whose value lay in the fact that they could be converted by any smith into implements or weapons, were made in several standard sizes. Coins of Gaulish and of other British peoples however have been found at Mount Batten (Plymouth), showing that some overseas trad­ing existed long before the coming of the Romans.

Besides the use of the rivers, inland movement was possible along the ridgeways, which followed  watersheds, avoiding valley forests and swamps.  These tracks had been in use since early Bronze Age times, and ran close to many hill-forts. Some remain in use as roads today, and one forms a long stretch of the county border on Exmoor.