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Archive for tag: Caerleon

Roman Remains

CaerleonJust to the north of Newport lies Caerleon, a small town with a big history.  The town was once one of the most remote outposts of the mighty Roman Empire and one of only three permanent fortresses in Britain.

The legacy of that past is clearly visible today with many relics and remains throughout the town.  The amphitheatre is the most complete  in Britain while the barracks are the only one of its kind still on view in the whole of Europe.  A short stroll through the town brings you to the Roman Baths, in their time a state of the art leisure complex with heated changing rooms, exercise rooms and an open air swimming pool.

Telling the story of the town's Roman past is the National Roman Legion Museum.  Exhibitions and artefacts show how the town and its garrison lived, fought and died. 

Visit the museum's website for more details

Historic Newport

Don't be fooled by the name.  Whilst it has plenty of modern features, NEWport has an abundance of historic attractions.

In fact, you can trace the area's history all the way back to Roman times.  Just to the north of Newport City Centre lies Caerleon.  A pretty, quiet town today, but 2000 years ago it was one of the furthest outposts of the might Roman Empire. 

And you don't have to look far to find traces of its past.  The remains of the amphitheatre, once the site of blood thirsty "entertainment" and the barracks, once home to 5000 soldiers are prominent, whilst the baths and National Roman Legion Museum are also well worth a visit.

Elsewhere, the area's history encompasses a medieval ship discovered beneath the mud of the River Usk, a 17th century mansion, once home to some rather eccentric aristocrats, and one of only eight Transporter Bridges still operating anywhere in the world.

It's not all about the history though.  The area does contemporary too.  It boasts some of the best and most luxurious hotels and resorts in the Southern Wales region. 

For instance, the Celtic Manor can be found here - you can stay in one of their five star bedrooms, enjoy a sumptuous meal in one of the restaurants, relax and unwind in the spa or enjoy a round of golf on one of their three courses - just like some of the world's best golfers did when the Ryder Cup was hosted here in 2010.

To find out more about visiting Newport, click on the link

Love is in the Air

World's Biggest LovespoonToday in Wales is St Dwynwen's Day and all over Wales people will be buying gifts and cards for their loved ones as they celebrate the Welsh version of Valentine's Day.

The history of St Dwynwen and how this day came to be celebrated is told on the Museum Wales website.

If you're looking for an ideal gift to give someone special today then how about a traditional Welsh lovespoon. Traditionally the wooden spoon was given by a man to a lady as a token of his affection. He would carve the spoon from a single piece of wood and was considered an early form of an engagement ring.The spoon usually contained a number of symbols which all had different meanings. These could include a horseshoe for luck, bells for marriage, hearts for love and a lock for security. Caged balls are said to indicate the number of children the couple would have.

The tradition continues today, although we're more likely to cheat and buy the spoons from a craft shop rather than make them ourselves.

What is believed to be the oldest surviving spoon, dating from the 17th century is at the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff while the world's biggest is at the Ffwrwm Arts Centre at Caerleon.

Happy St Dwynwen's Day

World's Biggest LovespoonToday in Wales is St Dwynwen's Day and all over Wales people will be buying gifts and cards for their loved ones as they celebrate the Welsh version of Valentine's Day.

The history of St Dwynwen is told on the Museum Wales website:

The story of Dwynwen dates from the 5th century.  The story goes that Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Maelon was so outraged that he raped Dwynwen and left her.

In her grief Dwynwen fled to the woods, where she begged God to make her forget Maelon. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen.  First she wished that Maelon be thawed, second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.

If you're looking for an ideal gift to give someone special today then how about a traditional Welsh lovespoon. Traditionally the wooden spoon was given by a man to a lady as a token of his affection. He would carve the spoon from a single piece of wood and was considered an early form of an engagement ring.

The spoon usually contained a number of symbols which all had different meanings. These could include a horseshoe for luck, bells for marriage, hearts for love and a lock for security. Caged balls are said to indicate the number of children the couple would have.

The tradition continues today, although we're more likely to cheat and buy the spoons from a craft shop rather than make them ourselves.

What is believed to be the oldest surviving spoon, dating from the 17th century is at the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff while the world's biggest is at the Ffwrwm Arts Centre at Caerleon.