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Monmouthshire. This drawing represents the historic extent of the county and is designed to be of use to those of our American visitors who can boast ancestors from this verdant corner of Wales. The county became attenuated in recent times as a result of government re-organisation designed to reflect demographic changes, which included the increasing importance of Newport. Newport became a great trading port in the nineteenth century, partly as a result of investment by the Morgan dynasty. The "New" in Newport reflects a much earlier flowering, however. The building of a fourteenth century castle there (on a site first fortified in 1191) caused the Welsh name of Casnewydd ar Wysg or New Castle on the River Usk but English documents have always referred to the town as New Port. In this case "New" indicates the primacy of Newport over the "old port" further up the river at Caerleon. Caerleon had become prominent as a result of the Roman invasion of Wales. The Roman Legion II Augusta maintained a headquarters complex here from around 74 AD until the late fourth century. 

 

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