Follow in the footsteps of the Roman legions
Above the village of Rowen in the Conwy Valley lies a section of the Roman road that once connected the forts of Caerhun (Canovium) and Caernarfon (Segontium). The road was part of a much larger communications network linking the strategic legionary town of Chester (Deva) with the auxiliary Roman forts of north Wales.
The road largely follows the route of an ancient trackway, thought to have been in use since Neolithic times. Many ancient sites lie along its path including Maen y Bardd (The Bard or Poet’s Stone), a Neolithic burial chamber or dolmen thought to be some 5000 years old. At the western end of the Rowen Valley sits the Bwlch y Ddeufaen Pass (the Pass of the Two Stones). Its name derives from two large, prehistoric monoliths of uncertain date that mark the upper entrance to the pass.
The Romans followed the course of the old route, but changed the direction of the road in places. Only sections of the road can be confirmed as the Roman track, but it is still possible to follow in the footsteps of the soldiers who once occupied the area. From the air, the road appears either as a cut into the hillside or a raised line.
Several Roman milestones have been discovered along this route over the years. One of them gives the distance to the fort at Caerhun (Canovium, but spelt Kanovium on the milestone). Three of these stones are now housed in the collection of the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery in Bangor.
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
Follow B5106 south of Conwy. Turn right at Tal-y-Bont for Llanbedr y Cenin. Follow road to end. Car park at Bwlch y Ddeufaen
Conwy - 8 miles
Arriva Cymru. Nearest bus stop at Groesfordd Rowen. 2 miles.
Cycle Route Conwy to Betws y Coed
Roman Road visible immediately west of car park
Walking boots recommended. OS map required. Dogs must be on lead.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 713718
OS Landranger map sheet: OS 115
- Roman Road Rowen, Rowen