Is sixteen miles from Bristol, 141 from London, nineteen south-south-west of Monmouth, twelve from Cardiff, and sixteen from Chepstow; and is a pretty considerable town, with a good haven, and a market on Saturdays; fairs on Holy-Thursday, Whit-Thursday, Aug. 15, and Nov. 6.
This place arose upon the ruins of Caerleon, and had a castle, which stands on the westernmost bank of the river Uske, a small distance north of the bridge and at the east of the town. It was apparently erected for the defence of the passage over the river, towards which it has three Strong towers, but towards the town it has only a common wall, without any flanks or defences. It is in figure a right angled parallelogram, measuring about 46 yards by 32, the greatest length running from north to south or in a direction parallel to the course of the river. It was built with small rubble-stones, but coigned with square ones. It seems to have been neatly finished, and the windows, many of which are of what is called the Gothic sort, elegantly decorated. At present it is used for a farm-yard. Near it was a Roman military way, called Julia Strata; and they shew a ford here in a stream, called Nant-Henthan where King Henry II found no small advantage by his freckled face; because he no sooner passed this ford, though by mere, accident, but the Welch, who were very credulous of old prophecies, submitted, because their oracle, Merlin Sylvester, had foretold they should be conquered by a prince of that complexion, who should pass the ford.
Tredonock is not for from this place, where is preserved a fair and entire monument of a Roman soldier of the second legion, which was found by the sexton, in digging a grave, 90 years ago, and is particularly described by Dr. Gibson, in his additions to Camden.
Source: The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture 1791. Volume the Fifth.