Top Historic Sights in Newport, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Newport

Newport Castle

Newport Castle was built in the 14th century, probably by Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester or his son-in-law, Ralph, Earl of Stafford, with the purpose of managing the crossing of the River Usk. The castle was used as administrative offices for the collection of rent and dues from local tenants, and was also a residence and a garrison. In 1402 it was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr. It was in disrepair by 1522, and was tak ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Tredegar House

Tredegar House (is a 17th-century Charles II-era mansion. For over five hundred years it was home to the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar; one of the most powerful and influential families in the area. The mansion stands in a reduced landscaped garden forming the non-residential part of Tredegar Park. The earliest surviving part of the building dates back to the late 15th century. The house was originally built of sto ...
Founded: 1664 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Newport Transporter Bridge

Te Newport Transporter Bridge crosses the River Usk in Newport. It is one of fewer than 10 transporter bridges that remain in use worldwide; only a few dozen were ever built. It is one of only two operational transporter bridges in Britain, the other being the Tees Transporter Bridge. The bridge was designed by French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin. It was built in 1906. Newport Museum holds a silver cigar cutter which was ...
Founded: 1906 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals. Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Ge ...
Founded: 90 AD | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths

The Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths museum is a historical site located in the town of Caerleon. Roman Wales was the farthest point west that the Roman Empire in Roman Britain extended to, and as a defence point, the fortress at Caerleon built in AD 75 was one of only three permanent Roman Legionary fortresses in Roman Britain. It was occupied and operational for just over 200 years. The site of the baths was ...
Founded: 75 AD | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

St Cadoc's Church

Caerleon is the historically important site of the Roman legionary fortress of Isca Augusta. St Cadoc"s Church stands over the principia (headquarters), where the legionary standards were kept and statues of the Roman emperors venerated. The earliest surviving part of the church dates back to just after the kingdom of Glywysing was overrun by the Normans during the twelfth century and is thought to be the work of H ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Newport Cathedral

Newport Cathedral, also known as St Woolos Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Monmouth. The name 'Woolos' is an English corruption of Gwynllyw, the 5th-century Welsh saint who first founded a religious establishment on the site. An early wooden church is known to have stood on the site from sometime during the Welsh Age of the Saints. This was rebuilt in stone in the 9th century indicating the importance of the cult ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Church of St Thomas

The Church of St Thomas is the parish church of the village of Redwick,. A medieval church, Perpendicular in style, and with elements dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, possibly with twelfth century origins. The church has an unusual plan, with a central tower standing between the chancel and the nave. In common with many churches on The Gwent Levels, the church suffered during the Great Flood of 1606/7 ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Ruperra Castle

Built in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan, Steward to the Earl of Pembroke, Ruperra Castle was one of the first of the mock castles to be built in Wales. It was destroyed by fire in 1785, and rebuilt, resultantly became home, especially in the 19th century, to the heir of the estate. Godfrey Charles Morgan, 2nd Baron, 1st Viscount Tredegar, who was a captain in the 17th Lancers during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Batt ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

St Mary's Church

The Church of St Mary the Virgin is the parish church of the village of Nash. The large church is medieval in origin, with additions and restorations dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The church consists of three parts. It has a three-story 15th-century steeple with an octagonal spire, but provides no access to the body of the church. The nave is 18th-century and the chancel 19th-century. The interior has a comple ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Pencoed Castle

The moat and round tower of Pencoed Castle may date from 1270 by Sir Richard de la More. It passed to the Morgans of Tredegar in the 15th century and a big new mansion on the east side and the gatehouse on the west side were built by Sir Thomas Morgan in c. 1490-1500. The gatehouse and corner tower are ruined and the mansion lies in a gutted and derelict state, though still with some flooring and the roof more or less int ...
Founded: 1490-1500 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Church of St Peter

The Church of St Peter is the former parish church of the village of Peterstone, to the south west of the city of Newport. Perpendicular in style, and dating from the fifteenth century, the church underwent two significant restorations, the first following the Great Flood in the early seventeenth century and then in the late nineteenth century. The church was built in the mid-fifteenth century, under the aegis of St Augu ...
Founded: c. 1450 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.