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past, an easier approach from the south, where the river is fordable, than from Tal y Cafn.
Suetonius, it may be taken, framed his course to Mona on "information received"; crossed the river by fording, which certainly at present is easily done at medium and low tides, either north or south of the Afon Ro (1a). He would naturally proceed to the rising ground which quickly commences at that point, and leave the extensive marshes, still existing, on his left.
In all probability he found a British track to guide him. By kind permission of General and Mrs. Gough this track (1) was sought for and found, leading through the plantation to the south of Caer Rhun, and finally joining the present road from Kanovium camp. The greater part of it is sunk to the depth of 4 ft. or 5 ft. This, a common Roman method, was perhaps constructed later on, and signs of interments, also a common object, exist which Mrs. Gough has kindly permitted to be examined. After the line crossed the public road it went, according to tradition, to what is now a farm, called Dol Marchog (4)-a sufficiently suggestive name, and a likely spot where such cavalry as may have formed part of the force subsequently allotted to Kanovium, were located. Afterwards, it is presumed, it continued to the road (4a) leading from Caer Rhun to where Ro Wen (5) is now situated, and this road, which presents an easy alignment if it be not a straight one, may have been adopted subsequently. From Ro Wen hamlet (5) to the foot of the pass (5a) there is to-day a slight deviation, which probably did not exist nearly nineteen hundred years ago. The ascent from point (5a) to Maen y Bardd Farm (6) is somewhat steep. Here one comes on very distinct signs of a constructed road. The Rev. H. Longueville Jones traced the course to Bwlch y ddeufaen in his letter of November 16th, 1845, which appeared in Arch. Camb., 1846, pp. 70-75, but he made no section of the road, which does not appear to have been completed
throughout, and he failed to notice a very suggestive ruin (7) near the two monoliths at the head of the pass, 1400 ft. (8), which had long excited the curiosity of the Nant Conwy Antiquarian Society, on several expeditions to that generally interesting region. Permission has been sought from Mr. Barker, the owner of the property, to open out this ruin, and when this is granted the Society will do the necessary work, in the full expectation that it will prove to have been a Mutatio. The foundations only of this ruin are to be seen, on both sides of an entrance to a large space enclosed by boulders of considerable size, and the spot lends itself to a changing and resting-place.
From the Bwlch (8) to point (9) the road remains clearly discernible, but whether the Romans pursued a course towards Aber, or went, as is now proposed, straight to the low land south of Llanfairfechan, is matter of argument.
However, it is known to Welsh and other archæologists that two important milestones were found more than thirty years since on the Rhiwiau at point (10), some distance up the hill behind the present mansion of Gorddinog (12), whose owner, Colonel H. Platt, C. B., sent them, in 1883, to the British Museum. An illustration of one of these, that of temp. Hadrian, was given in the first paper, Arch. Camb., April, 1912, from a photograph procured by Mr. Willoughby Gardner, who also lent to the writer a rubbing he had had made of the second stone, which unfortunately lies at present in such a position in the British Museum that it cannot be photographed. But it is known that the milestone was erected in the time of Septimius Severus and Marcus Aurelius, who were joint emperors A.D. 198-211. The inscription reads:
IMP. P. CAES
L. SEP. SEVERVS
PP . ᎬᎢ . Ꮇ . ᎪᏙᎡ .
AVGG. ET. P.
This rendering was kindly given by Sir Charles H. Read, of the British Museum. The stone itself is broken. The part which was broken off, and is stated to have been built into a wall erected after the stone was found, probably recorded the same distance from Kanovium as does that of the Hadrian stoneM. P. VIII.1
In order to substantiate the claim that the earliest Roman road went down the Rhiwiau, Colonel Platt kindly permitted its examination at the three points (11) shown on the map, and provided labourers on his estate, including one ancient retainer who was able to
A. Original Level of Ground. B. Present Level, showing growth of 18 in. to 24 in. of Vegetable Mould
give valuable information. Colonel Platt pointed out the spot to the west of the track where the two milestones were found in successive years, within ten yards of each other; and it must be particularly noted that both were buried in the ground: that even of Hadrian showing only a small portion above the surface. Knowing the rapidity of the growth of vegetable mould in the course of many centuries, the accompanying illustration is given to show how easily, within the space of fourteen to fifteen centuries, this tall, heavy stone would become naturally covered when thrown down, most probably very soon after the Roman occupation ceased.
1 See Editorial Note.