The consolidation of Roman power in Wales
The Roman fort of Canovium (modern Caerhun) was built around AD 77–8. The fort was designed to consolidate Roman military gains in the area under the leadership of the Roman governor of Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Situated along the Roman road that linked the legionary base at Deva (modern Chester) with outposts on the Welsh frontier, the site commanded an important crossing point on the River Conwy where the hamlet of Tal y Cafn now stands.
St Mary’s Church now occupies the north-eastern corner of the site, and remains of the old Roman bathhouse can be seen next to the churchyard. The original timber structure was replaced by a much larger, stone-built fort in the mid-2nd century, which featured guard chambers at each of the four gates and watchtowers at each corner. The fort probably housed one complete cohort of soldiers (about 500 men) who lived in barrack blocks built alongside the principia or headquarters building. A vicus or civilian settlement grew along the road approaching the fort; it was occupied, intermittently, until the late 4th century when the site appears to have been abandoned.
Canovium was extensively excavated in the 1920s. Many artefacts were unearthed, including a game with counters and a tile featuring an imprint of a child’s foot. These artefacts can be seen in Llandudno Museum.
Taflen Dehongli Caerhun Interpretation Leaflet
application/pdf / 0.91 MB
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Info Point
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
- Wheelchair Access
4.5 miles south of Conwy on B5106
Nearest station Conwy - 4.5 miles
Nearest bus stop Caer Rhun Hall
Conwy Valley Cycle Route
Car park for St Mary's Church
The remains of Canovium are on private farmland so please stay on the public footpath. If you wish to take a closer look at the fort please contact the Bodnant Estate Office on 01492 650562 or email Holidays@bodnant-estate.co.uk
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH776703
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01492 650562
- Canovium Roman Fort, Caerhun, LL32 8UG