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Exhibitions and Artefacts National Roman Legion Museum


Our fascinating collection of artefacts tells how Romans lived, fought, worshipped and died. Learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

Study the oldest recorded piece of writing in Wales, inscribed in ink on a wooden tablet. This 1st century artefact, found in a well on the Museum site, tells of guards sent to fetch the pay and parties collecting building-timber.

The Museum boasts one of the largest gemstone collections found anywhere in the Roman Empire. These precious, intricately carved gems were discovered beneath the fortress baths remains, lost by bathers between AD 80 and AD 230.


After 1,700 years languishing down a drain you can marvel at their beauty in the gallery, each the work of highly skilled craftsmen, used as signets, charms and talismans by their owners long ago.

Peer into the amazing contents of the Bathstone Coffin to find the bones of a 2nd/early 3rd century man, buried with a small glass perfume ointment bottle and a shale cup.

As well as many individual highlights, there is plenty of authentic Roman pottery and other utensils on show in the gallery, including an iron frying pan sporting a folding handle to fit inside a soldier’s pack. A replica of the pan is regularly used in experimental archaeology when cooking up traditional Roman recipes in the Museum.

The reconstructed Barrack Room shows what the fortress barrack blocks (see Roman Ruins) might have looked like inside, giving a sense of the living conditions for the Roman soldiers.

At weekends and school holidays (please call for exact dates), children can step back in time in a full-sized barrack room and try on replica armour and experience the life of a Roman soldier!