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The City, or town as it was until 1882, got its name from the 'new castle' founded in 1080 by Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror. He chose for its site the Anglo-Saxon cemetery of the settlement of Monkchester. The cemetery was not, however, the earliest use of this area, the graves being found dug into the ruined walls and metalled roads of the Roman fort of Pons Aelius.

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