Cae-Gaer Roman Fort
Cae-Gaer Roman Fort
Cae-Gir is a 1st century Roman earthwork and timber fort in the Cambrian Mountains, where quartz mining may have taken place.
The earthwork ramparts of an enclosure covering roughly 2.25 acres stand in a forestry plantation in a secluded area of the Wye Valley. The earthworks are thought to have been erected during Emperor Nero's abortive campaign against the native Welsh tribes in 57 AD.

The earthwork banks would have been topped by a timber palisade, with 4 inch posts along the top, angle towers in the corners, and gateways in the north and south walls. The enclosure describes a rough parallelogram, measuring 390 feet on the east and west sides, and 290 feet to the north and south. Excavations in 1913 uncovered evidence of the timber defences but no other finds were discovered, suggesting that the fort was occupied for only a short period of time.

What was Cae-Gir?

Here's where things get tricky, and the reality is that we don't know. The earthwork enclosure is clear enough, but why was it built? The unusual feature at Cae-Gir is the size; it is too small to hold a full cohort of 500 men, making it much smaller than most Roman forts of the same period.

Two possibilities suggest themselves; either the cohort was understrength, or the full cohort was divided between 2 small camps. There is a small Roman fort 8 miles away at Pen y Crocben, so it is possible that the other half of the same cohort was stationed there.

Getting There

Cae-Gir stands immediately south of the A44, in the forestry plantation 1 km west of Pont Rhydgaled. A public footpath leads directly past the fort on the west side, and a forestry road runs immediately east of the earthworks. The Wye Valley Walk long distance footpath links to forestry road network about 1km to the east, making access easy on foot from Pont Rhydgaled. The fort is well marked on OS maps.