Cefn-brynich Roman Fort

Claudian Auxiliary Fort and Fort

The Roman Fort found at Cefn-brynich is the site of large early (pre-Flavian) Roman fort complex.  It is sited on a bluff overlooking the River Usk at the junction point of a key route north from the Usk Valley. The southern half of the fort is under cultivation and showed as cropmarks from the air in the summer of 2013; the central and northern parts of the site lie under permanent pasture with the approximate lines of the Roman defences fossilised by hedgebanks.

Although the precise chronology will need further investigation it is probably Claudio-Neronian in origin and an its occupation which terminated within the first century. Its functions would probably have been replaces with the fort at Brecon.

Cropmarks on the aerial photographs  show the southern third of a large fort with earth and timber defences. The fort appears to measure about 260 m north–south by 215 m east–west, encompassing some 5.5 ha overall. The Roman fort is defined by three ditches and traces of metalled internal features, one of which appears to be a surfaced inter-vallum road. This is linked on the south side, towards the river escarpment, by additional bivallate ditches springing from the south-west and south-east corners of the fort enclosing an outer annex.

On the west side is a univallate annex or former Roman marching camp, separated from the main fort by an additional broad ditch.

The discovery of the fort was triggered by Dr Jeffrey L. Davies’ recognition that Claudian Roman coins (c. AD 43-64), reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme from nearby Cefn-Brynich farm, suggested the likelihood of a fort in the vicinity commanding the River Usk.