NGRef: SH9336
OSMap: LR125
Type: Auxiliary Fort, Auxiliary Fort, Fort, Camp, Store Depot
SW (5) to Caergai (Gwynedd)
NW (8) to Penrhos

The Roman Fort at Llanfor

SH938361 c.650 x 600 ft
(c.198 x 183 m)
c.9 acres
(c.3.6 ha)

The Roman site at Llanfor lies just outside Bala on the northern flood-plain of the Afon Dyfrydwy (River Dee) at the north-eastern end of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake). The site is only 5 miles from the well-established Roman fort of Cohors Primae Nerviorum at Caer Gai, which leads one to suspect that these two sites were not contemporary; the short-lived site at Llanfor probably being abandoned during the early Flavian period in preference to site at Caer Gai.

The fort measures about 650 feet from east to west by 600 feet transversely (c.198 x 183 m), between the ditches, therefore enclosing an area of almost 9 acres (c.3.6 ha). The defences consisted of a substantial rampart fronted on all sides by three ditches. There were only three gateways, that in the east side is centrally placed, those in the northern and southern defences are off-set a little to the east, there is no gateway visible in the west side, which would merely open onto the water-meadows of the river; the fort was therefore oriented towards the east. The defences of the fort overlie the south-eastern defences of the legionary-sized temporary camp, proving that the fort was the later addition, its large size perhaps again attesting a legionary garrison. The fort's turf and timber defences show no trace of rebuilding.

The Llanfor Marching Camp

SH937363 1,250 x 1,000+ ft
(381 x 305+ m)
c.28¾ acres
(c.11.6 ha)
Discovered in 1976 lying just NW of the fort, this camp is only partly traced. A short length of the SW side, 1,000 ft of the SE, and at least 1,250 ft of the NE defences are known, along with the adjoining S and E angles. Both the recorded corner-angles are slightly acute, so the NW side will be appreciably shorter than that on the opposite (SE). The area of the camp would be something in the region of 29 acres.
See: Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1973-76 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. lxvii (1977) pp.149/50 & fig.15;
Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-1984 by G.S. Maxwell & D.R. Wilson in Britannia xviii (1987, p.11);
Britannia ix (1978) p.406;
Britannia xxix (1998) p.368 & fig.3 p.369;

Click here for a map of Llanfor from

Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: LLANFOR"