Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Newport, United Kingdom

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. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.

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More Information

cadw.gov.wales

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Nutland (8 months ago)
Love exploring these type of places. Came across this place on a school trip to the roman baths. Definitely worth a visit. Ideal for a picnic, games, dog walking. Highly recommended for a little look round anyway. Thank me later. ?
Benjamin Raisanen (8 months ago)
A lovely piece of history showcasing the beautiful amphitheater built thousands of years ago. Great place for picnic.
Ryan Withey-Julian (9 months ago)
Very big Amphitheatre and is the best preserved in the UK. Shame the grass has been left to cover most of it but maybe that helps preserve what is left. But you can walk all round and inside. Great place for a picnic too.
Zach Emerson (9 months ago)
One of the best preserved if not the best Roman Ampitheatre in the country. It is free to enter and explore the grounds and we had our picnic (weather depending) within from the nearby Village Bakery (highly recommend). There are information signs across the site but more information about the Roman History if Caerleon can be found in the Roman Leigion museum of the Roman Baths. The amphitheatre is definitely worth including on a Roman tour of the town and also the other nearby Roman Barracks.
Josh Longmuir (10 months ago)
Beautiful piece of history in a lovely village. Perfect place for a picnic with space for kids to run and play within the ruins!
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Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.

The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.