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Caerleon Will Fight
the Newport Plan


Caerleon will fight to retain its independence: the Council have agreed strenuously to oppose the Newport Boundaries Extension Bill, which would, if agreed, absorb Caerleon.

A decision to oppose the Newport plan was taken at a private session of Caerleon Council.

A sub-committee comprising the Council Chairman, Councillor Morgan Davies, with Councillors W. G. Lovett, J.P., J. Williams and Mrs. Griffith Jones, J.P., have been given plenary powers to retain counsel and engage expert assistance and advice.

The necessary petition has been prepared and forwarded to Parliament.

When be heard the news from a South Wales Argus reporter, Mr. J. R. Gabriel, Secretary of Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Society, expressed keen satisfaction.

He is anxious that Caerleon, site of a Roman encampment laid bare in modern times and one of the most important historic areas in Britain, shall retain its identity.

As Secretary of the Society for 33 years, he has had an unrivalled opportunity of delving into Caerleon's past, and has traced the history of its trade back to the time when Caerleon was a much more important place than Newport.


"Caerleon had its own Charter before 1140, when Newport proper was formed." he said, "and its inhabitants were entitled to call themselves citizens and burgesses. Old wills prove that.

" In 1140, Caerleon Borough boundary extended from Pillbach to the site of the present St. Julian's Hotel, and ran along the cinderpath at Cock-y-North, along the course of the Avon Llwyd to Ponthir, and in a circle round the back of Lodge Farm.

"Trade in Caerleon flourished in the 15th Century, with wool, bark and iron passing to and fro between Caerleon and Bristol. Caerleon's mariners had firmly established themselves, and were excused compulsory service in the national Militia.

"Goods and buyers flooded into Caerleon from the Midlands, but, in 1623, Newport was granted a Charter which was to put that town in the forefront. Caerleon, on the other hand, had become dilatory, and had even failed to appoint a Mayor!

Cutting from the South Wales Argus
Wednesday 8th February 1950
Cutting from the South Wales Argus 1950

"In 1700 the populations of Caerleon and Newport reached equality - about 1,000 in each case - and the trade was about the same at each port, too," said Mr. Gabriel.

(Note - To-day, Newport's population is more than 25 times Caerleon's 3,692).

"The decline of Caerleon as a substantial trading centre can be traced from 1798, the year of the completion of Newport's major enterprise, the canal," added Mr. Gabriel.

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