William FitzOsbern, Norman Count of William the Conqueror, established Monmouth Castle between 1066 and 1069 as a counterpart to his other major castle at Chepstow. It was originally an earth and timber ringwork fortress, which was listed in the Domesday Book. The wooden castle had stonework added before 1150.
After briefly being held by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, Monmouth Castle passed into the hands of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster and son of Henry III in 1267. He redeveloped the castle, building the Hall and took it as his main residence in the area. It was further improved in the early 14th century, probably by Crouchback's grandson, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. During this period large decorated windows were installed in the upper part of the Great Tower which also had a new roof. As a town developed around the castle, the castle's defences were augmented by a town wall and fortified bridge, built at the end of the 13th century.
Edward II briefly was held prisoner in the castle before he was transferred to Berkeley Castle where he died. The castle was a favourite residence of Henry Bolingbroke, later King as Henry IV. It was here that in 1387 the future King Henry V of England was born, to Bolingbroke's first wife Mary de Bohun.
Over the centuries, as its defensive function diminished, the outer bailey of the castle became increasingly used as a market place, later (and now) known as Agincourt Square. During the sixteenth century, when Monmouth became the county town of the newly formed shire of Monmouth, the county's Courts of Assize began to be held in the castle's Great Hall.
In the tumult of the English Civil War, Monmouth Castle changed hands three times, finally falling to the Parliamentarians in 1645. Oliver Cromwell visited Monmouth in 1646, and according to tradition ordered the slighting (demolition) of the castle. Great Castle House was built in 1673, on the site of the old round tower, by Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort.
Only fragments of the castle, including the Great Tower and Hall and parts of the walls, remain above ground, and on the site Castle House and Great House have been built. In 1875, the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia, the senior Territorial Army regiment today, made it their Headquarters building and so it remains. It is one of the few British castles in continuous military occupancy. The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers museum is located in the stable block attached to Great Castle House. It includes exhibits relating to the history of the regiment from 1539 to the present day.References:
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.