CALDICOT Castle provided the backdrop for a weekend of battles and displays of life in Roman Britain.

Re-enactment group Vicus, based in the Forest of Dean, sent 26 of its members to the castle between May 28 and 30, where they entertained up to 1,400 visitors.

Fashions of the period were on show, together with displays of Roman metal and wood crafts, medical skills and typical merchants' goods.

In the main arena were displays of hand-to-hand fighting between heavily armoured Roman soldiers, with their helmets and shields, and the comparatively vulnerable native Britons, showing the differences between them.

Children were encouraged to get involved, too, and were led in military drill, complete with spears - minus the sharp spear- head - by Vicus' John Nash.

Vicus' leader Aisling Tuohy said: "This was our first time at Caldicot Castle and all our members really enjoyed it."

The group is booked for another display at the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans on June 10 and 11.