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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 12:20 GMT
Roman fort handed over to trust
Segontium (picture courtesy of Cadw)
The fort of Segontium housed a large Roman garrison
The remains of the great Roman fort of Segontium in north Wales are to be developed as a modern museum by a local trust, it has been announced.

The plans for the site, which dates back to 70 AD, were revealed at a meeting in Caernarfon on Monday evening.

The story of Segontium ought not be divorced from the story of the castle and the town - they are all links in the chain

David Langley, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

The fort is currently owned by the National Trust and is run by the National Museums and Galleries of Wales under the guardianship of Cadw.

The operation of the site will be handed over to a new company, Segontium Cyf, which will be made up of local people.

In an impassioned speech, David Langley, the director of the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, said the site was much more than a Roman fort.

"We should not put the place in a little Roman box and think of it as the remains of a distant fortress of a far-flung empire," he said.

"The trust being formed has an opportunity to link together all the boxes of history in Caernarfon.

"There needs to be a plan for the interpretation of the town as a whole.

Segontium (picture courtesy of Cadw)
There are plans to develop the site as a museum

"It is an evolving story and there is an opportunity for Segontium to be at the heart of the plans to develop Caernarfon.

He emphasised the impact the arrival of a garrison of Roman soldiers would have had on the local community - leading to interaction, intermarriage and commerce.

"It provided the basis of the community we know as Caernarfon today," he said.

"The story of Segontium ought not be divorced from the story of the castle and the town - they are all links in the chain," he added.

Trust members

Mike Tooby from the National Museums and Galleries of Wales said the new trust would be eligible to apply for extra funding which is was not able to do before.

"Handing over to a Trust would allow it to decide how this site fits within the economy of Caernarfon," he said.

The site will remain in the ownership of the National Trust and Cadw will continue to act as custodian.

Trust members will be appointed in March but are likely to include Dafydd Wigley who is retiring as the AM for Caernarfon.

Consultants have already drawn up draft plans for updating the fort which include developing an old underground reservoir on the site as a museum.


More from north west Wales
See also:

19 Apr 01 | Wales
10 Jan 01 | UK
04 Oct 02 | Wales
25 Jul 02 | Wales
09 Dec 02 | Wales
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