have two first hand accounts from the 16th century.
travelled in Gwent around the year 1536, wrote:
"The Ruines of the
Walles of the Town yet remayne, and also of the Castel."
About 50 years
later Thomas Churchyard
"There is a castle
That may not be forgot.
It stands upon a forced hill,
Not farre from flowing flood:
Where loe ye view long vales at will,
Envyron'd all with wood."
do little to help us, other than to confirm that the ruins of
a castle existed then. We can not tell whether the walls he mentions
are Roman or Town Walls or part of the castle defences.
us two important pieces of information. Firstly the castle (or
part of it) stood on top of the mound (note: near the river).
This must have been a stone structure, wood of course would not
have survived until then. Secondly, it was high enough to view
the valley "at will", and it was possible to climb up the
tower to do so.
That they do
not describe the castle suggests there was nothing very unusual
about it, but this is guesswork.
Coxe visited Caerleon several times in the last few years
of the 18th century. His book, An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire,
contains useful descriptions and illustrations
of the castle ruins evident then.
Castle Index] [Mynde Index]