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For the character in Irish mythology, see Caer Ibormeith. For the place in France, see Caër. For the political group, see Conservative Action for Electoral Reform.
The castle at Caernarfon, meaning in Welsh, "the fortress opposite Môn" (Anglesey).
Dinefwr Castle, 12th century

In the Welsh language, caer means "fortress, fort, citadel, castle".

Caer is the Welsh name for the city of Chester, situated in northwest England. It also forms, as a prefix, the Welsh equivalent of -caster, -cester and -chester in place names. The English word derives from Latin castrum "fortified post", more common in the plural castra meaning "military camp", and is the equivalent of castell "castle" in Welsh. The word caer itself derives from the Brittonic word *kagro-, as does the word cae (modern Welsh for "field", i.e. an enclosed piece of land).[1]

Examples in Wales include:


Examples of Welsh "Caer" names as exonyms for English cities:

  • Caerfuddai - Chichester;
  • Caergaint - Canterbury;
  • Caergrawnt - Cambridge;
  • Caerhirfryn - Lancaster;
  • Caerliwelydd - Carlisle;
  • Caerloyw - Gloucester;
  • Caerlwytgoed - Lichfield;
  • Caerlŷr - Leicester;
  • Caersallog - Salisbury;
  • Caerwrangon - Worcester;
  • Caerwynt - Winchester;
  • Caerwysg - Exeter


Southern Scotland contains many placenames with a "Caer" element, toponymic remnants of the kingdoms of the Hen Ogledd. Some examples are:

See also[edit]

Welsh toponymy


  1. ^ Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, vol. 1, p. 384.