Weekend in Wales - A bit of a Roman(tic) holiday

Last weekend, I was in Caerleon, South Wales attending the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference. It’s a joyous event, where you re-affirm old friendships and form new ones, where you’re are reminded of old things you’ve forgotten and learn new ones.  Talks on characters, publishing contracts, marketing; presentations by those who have made it and those who hope to; meetings with publishers, agents and industry gurus. And the wine…

For a flavour of the event, have a look at these.   Warning! May contain shoes and smiles.
RNA blog – Day 1 pictures      RNA blog – Gala dinner (and shoes)      A first timer’s view

I’m not going to repeat their words – they’ve said it all. But I’m going to tell you about something else I did that weekend before the conference got started.

I went off on a Roman holiday.  Caerleon or Isca Augusta was one of the three permanent Roman military HQs in Britain. Isca became the headquarters of the II Legion Augusta in about AD 75, when Governor Sextus Julius Frontinus began the conquest of Roman Wales. Recent finds suggest Roman occupation of some kind as late as AD 380. More info here

Being me, I took a load of photos. (Click on the individual links for more photos.) The most impressive remains are of the amphitheatre, the only fully excavated one in Britain.

Nearby are part of the fortress wall and the   Prysg Field Barracks, (right) the only Roman legionary barracks visible in Europe.


The National Roman Legion Museum contains some very interesting finds, including carved gemstones lost down the drains!

Behind the museum is a Roman-inspired garden which gave me a few ideas for my own.








And if you fancied a swim, then the fabulous display at the Roman baths museum could entice you in.









And there is more to come. Last year archaeologists found traces of a huge building which may turn out to be the size of Fishbourne Roman Palace in Sussex.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

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