The Church of St. Martin stands has stood in the same place since 1294. The patron saint of the parish, owes its name to Martin of Tours. In 1451, then in ruins, it was consecrated by the archbishop Pey Berland, which offered the reconstruction once the Hundred Years War was over. After about 20 years of renovation, it is classified today as a historic monument.
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.