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In addition to serving an important political role in the governance of the fertile south Glamorgan coastal plain, Cardiff was a busy port in the Middle Ages due to its location on the Bristol trading routes, and was declared a Staple port in 1327.
This furthermore led to the town gaining a reputation for piracy, which by the Early Modern period led to much dispute between the burgesses of Cardiff and the surrounding county families.
The 3.2-hectare (8-acre) fort established by the Romans near the mouth of the River Taff in 75 AD, in what would become the north western boundary of the centre of Cardiff, was built over an extensive settlement that had been established by the Romans in the 50s AD.
The fort was one of a series of military outposts associated with Isca Augusta (Caerleon) that acted as border defences.
The city is the country's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales.
The area passed through his family until the advent of the Normans in the 11th century.
The castle was substantially altered and extended during the Victorian period by John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, and the architect William Burges.
Coins from the reign of Gratian indicate that Cardiff was inhabited until at least the 4th century; the fort was abandoned towards the end of the 4th century, as the last Roman legions left the province of Britannia with Magnus Maximus.
Little is known about the fort and civilian settlement in the period between the Roman departure from Britain and the Norman Conquest.