Origins[ edit ] Tribes of Wales at the time of the Roman invasion and showing the modern Wales-England border Archaeological evidence from sites in and around Cardiff: Mynydd y Garth , within the county's northern boundary. The fort may have been abandoned in the early 2nd century as the area had been subdued. However, by this time a civilian settlement, or vicus , was established. It was likely made up of traders who made a living from the fort, ex-soldiers and their families. A Roman villa has been discovered at Ely.
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Like the other two castles Skenfrith is remarkably well-preserved, standing mostly to wall walk height. The eastern wall and possibly north-eastern tower of the castle, built in a totally different style to the rest of the fortress, was constructed by Ralph. However this work proved abortive and Henry II cancelled the building work in as unnecessary. In , Sheriff William Braose pushed the unfinished castle into rapid service by placing a palisade around the other three sides of the ditch. A prison was later built within the stockade. In Hubert Burgh began to build the other three sides of the unfinished castle enceinte in stone.
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The strategic position, on a major routeway, was chosen early in the first Norman incursions into south-west Wales, when the castle was founded by Roger of Montgomery in , and it stood firm against Welsh counter-attacks in subsequent years. Ann's Bastion, Hall Block R Pembroke's strategic importance soon increased, as it was from here that the Normans embarked upon their Irish campaigns. In the castle came into the hands of William Marshal , who, over the next 30 years transformed the earth-and-timber castle into a mighty stone fortification.