town, archaeological site, and residential suburb of Newport, Newport county borough, historic county of Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy), Wales, on the River Usk. It was important as the Roman fortress of Isca Silurum, which was, with Deva (Chester) and Eboracum (York), one of the permanent legionary bases in Britain. The foundation of the fortress, set on a terrace in a wide bend of the Usk, is dated to 74-75 CE, when the conquest of the Silures of southeastern Wales began. The headquarters were built about 75 and the baths about 85, and the latest known structural work took place in 253-255. Toward the end of the 3rd century, the legion may have been removed and split up into smaller units. The fortress was occupied, probably by a nonmilitary population, until the 370s. Caerleon, traditionally a seat of the legendary King Arthur, was a Welsh princely capital until the Norman Conquest (1066) and thereafter was a marcher lordship (border district) mainly in Welsh hands until 1235. The medieval borough enjoyed a brisk coastal trade that was eventually overtaken by the development of Newport to the southwest. Pop. (2001) 8,708.
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