With some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the country, Newport’s galleries and museums showcase the region’s proud heritage.
Culture in Newport
Your first port of call should be the National Roman Museum to find out how the city was created under Roman rule. The museum digs deep into the city’s history and, with a prime location near the Caerleon amphitheatre, fortress and baths, is one of the best preserved and most impressive Roman ruins in the country.
One of the most remote outposts of the Roman empire, the Caerleon fortress was founded in AD75 and protected the city for more than 200 years. The museum takes you back in time to when the amphitheatre was alive with gladiators, and is to this day, the most complete amphitheatre in Britain.
With more than 60,000 artefacts and exhibits collected over the last 140 years, Newport Museum and Art Gallery is a fascinating space that recounts the city’s history and culture from prehistoric times right up to the modern day. Spanning archaeology, social history, natural history and art, the museum is located in the heart of the city in-between the Friars Walk Centre and The Kingsway Shopping Centre.
Uncovered in 2002, the Newport Ship is the most complete 15th-century boat ever found. Providing valuable insight into the ship-building process at the time, it’s one of the most important nautical discoveries. Accidentally discovered during the building process for the Riverfront Theatre, the ship was 30 metres long, could carry an impressive 200 tonnes of cargo and was thought to be part of the Lisbon to Newport fleet. While the ship’s remains are currently being conserved, you can find out more about the ship and its history at the Ship Centre on the western edge of the city.
A renovated 1930s cinema, the Riverfront Arts Centre is a state-of-the-art 500-capacity space that hosts everything from opera to stand-up comedy, musicals and more. The space is just a five-minute walk from our Newport City Centre hotel and hosts around 180 shows, 110 film screenings and hundreds of workshops each year.
The Visual Art Gallery houses a series of free exhibitions and events spanning art, design and photography. Innovatively, they also display local art in and around the building, giving local artists an impressive platform.
The museum side of the Newport Museum and Art Gallery might be the stronger draw, but the city’s art gallery is still popular in its own right. Spanning paintings, ceramics and - for the tea lovers out there - a large display of vintage teapots, the museum and gallery are open from Tuesday to Saturday.