This site is now open to view or visit.
In line with Welsh Government advice and guidance, we have started to reopen a selection of our unstaffed heritage sites in a safe and controlled way — for the benefit of local communities.
We are pleased to announce that this monument is now open and is free to view or visit with no pre-booking required. Please adhere to our new visitation guidelines, act responsibly and be respectful towards the site and its local area at all times.
Site opening times, parking and other available facilities at our reopened sites may have changed. Please check this site’s webpage carefully for specific updates.
For further information on what to expect and how to stay safe during your visit, please read our FAQs page.
Blood-soaked Roman entertainment meets Arthurian myth
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), this impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.