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Monmouth Landmarks

Shire Hall Monmouth

Shire Hall Monmouth
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Description

The Shire Hall in Agincourt Square, Monmouth, Wales, is a prominent Grade I listed building in the town centre. It was built in 1724, and was formerly the centre for the Assize Courts andQuarter Sessions for Monmouthshire. In 1839/40, the court was the location of the trial of the Chartist leader John Frost and others for high treason for their part in the Newport Rising. The building was also used as a market place. The Shire Hall is owned by Monmouthshire County Council and has audio visual guides for visitors to Courtroom 1. It is currently used as a Tourist Information Centre and as the offices for Monmouth Town Council, and is open to the public in part.

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The current building was erected in 1724, and is at least the fourth building on the site. It had earlier been the site of an Elizabethan court built in 1536, which in turn was replaced in 1571 by a timber-framed construction. The timbers from the original building were used in the construction of the Shire Hall, which provided an open trading area on the ground floor with rooms above. The building, described in Buildings of Wales as "a mighty affair", is constructed of Bath stone ashlar and was designed by a little known architect, Philip Fisher (d. 1776) of Bristol at a cost of £1700. The Courts of Assize were transferred to the building in 1725, with the court room itself located on the first floor above the open arches which were used as a market area. The clock in the pediment was made by Richard Watkins in 1765.

The interior of the building was remodelled in 1828, and a new exterior stair tower with a glazed lantern was added, enclosing a grandiose new staircase. Thomas Hopperwas involved with improvements to the Shire Hall under "Royal assent". He was involved for many years with improvements to Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor. He andEdward Haydock made the Shire Hall building extend down Agincourt Street creating room for the new staircase and larger courts. Hopper took up residence in Monnow Strret in Monmouth whist this was happening.

Sculpture of King Henry V

The sculpture of King Henry V, in a niche above the front entrance and below the clock, is generally considered to be of poor quality; variously described as "incongruous", "rather deplorable", and "pathetic..like a hypochondriac inspecting his thermometer". It was added in 1792 by Charles Peart, a professional sculptor who had been born at nearby English Newton. The inscription reads: HENRY V, BORN AT MONMOUTH, AUG 9TH 1387. The carved birth date is now thought to be incorrect.

Trial of the Chartist leaders

The County Gaol was located a short distance from the court rooms. It was here that the Chartist leader Henry Vincent, who had sought the right of all men to vote in parliamentary elections, was imprisoned before being tried at the assizes. Vincent was convicted, but the unpopularity of the verdict led to protests that eventually led to miners being killed in a clash with the military at Newport on 4 November 1839. John Frost was arrested in Newport shortly after the riot, followed by other leaders of the group. A Special Commission opened at Shire Hall on 10 December 1839, and an appointed Grand Jury considered what charges to bring against them. The Grand Jury included Lord Granville Somerset, brother of the Duke of Beaufort; John Etherington Welch Rolls; Octavius Morgan; and four Members of Parliament, Joseph Bailey, William Addams Williams, Reginald James Blewitt, and Sir Benjamin Hall. Frost, William Jones, Zephaniah Williams and five others were duly charged with high treason, and their trial began on 31 December. It has been described as "one of the most important treason trials in the annals of British law". The judges were the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Nicholas Tindal; Sir James Parke; and Sir John Williams, who was notorious for sentencing the Tolpuddle Martyrs to transportation in 1834. Counsel for the Crown was the Attorney General, Sir John Campbell; Frost's counsel was Sir Frederick Pollock.

While the trial was taking place, measures were taken to protect Monmouth against Chartist insurgents. Troops were billeted at the White Swan, and some were stationed at the gatehouse on the Monnow Bridge. Granville Somerset and Benjamin Hall spoke in Frost's defence, and, in his summing up, Lord Chief Justice Tindal drew attention to the complete certainty needed for a conviction, suggesting his desire for an acquittal. All eight men were found guilty, but the jury added a recommendation for mercy. On 16 January 1840, the judge sentenced Frost, Jones and Williams to be hanged, drawn and quartered; they were the last men in Britain to be sentenced to that punishment. The other five men were sentenced to transportation. On the day before they were due to be executed, 29 January, the Cabinet under Lord Melbourne took the advice of Lord Chief Justice Tindal, and asked Queen Victoria to reduce all the sentences to transportation. On 2 February 1840, the prisoners were escorted to Chepstow, and put on the steamer Usk for Portsmouth, where they were transferred to the ship Spithead with over 200 other prisoners and taken to Van Diemen's Land.

Recent uses

When Monmouthshire County Council was formed in 1889, most of its functions were based at Shire Hall, Newport, which by then was the county's main centre of population, rather than at Monmouth.

The Magistrates Court at Shire Hall, Monmouth, closed in 1997, and the County Court closed in 2002. Monmouthshire County Council then applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for resources, and secured a grant of £3.2 million towards the building's complete refurbishment, with further funding of over £1 million provided by the County Council. Renovation started in late 2008, and the restored building was opened in September 2010. Among the areas open to visitors is the courtroom in which the trial of Frost and others took place in 1840. A key element of the refurbishment was the installation of a lift, which makes the whole building accessible for all. The building now contains a Tourist Information Centre and offices.

 

Monnow Bridge

Monnow Bridge
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Monnow Bridge in Monmouth, Wales, is the only remaining mediaeval fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower still standing in place. It crosses the River Monnow (Welsh: Afon Mynwy) some 500m above its confluence with the River Wye. Now pedestrianised, it is a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I listed building.

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13th- and 14th-century bridge and gatehouse

The existing bridge was completed in the late 13th century, traditionally in 1272 though this date has no supporting documentary evidence. It replaced an earlier wooden structure. Work on flood defences in 1988 revealed remains of a wooden bridge directly under the existing one, and dendrochronological analysis indicated that its timber came from trees felled between 1123 and 1169. Some sources suggest that the bridge and the nearby Church of St Thomas the Martyr were damaged by fire in the Battle of Monmouth, between supporters of Henry III and the forces of Richard Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, in 1233.

The stone bridge is constructed of Old Red Sandstone, with three arches on hexagonal piers forming pointed cutwaters. The gatehouse, called Monnow Gate, which gives Monnow Bridge its remarkable and noteworthy appearance, was added at the end of the 13th or start of the 14th century, a few years after the bridge itself was built. In 1297 Edward I provided a murage grant in favour of Monmouth, in response to a request from his nephew Henry of Lancaster. This permitted and enabled the townspeople to build the town walls and gates for defence and protection. By 1315, this work was still incomplete or was in need of repair, since the original authority was renewed on 1 June 1315. At that time, the bridge would have been much narrower than now, with all traffic passing beneath a portcullis – the grooves for the lowering of which are still visible – and through a single arch. The prominent arched machicolations were added at an unknown date in the mediaeval period, possibly in the late 14th century.

According to local historian Keith Kissack, the gate house was ineffective in defensive terms, as the Monnow could easily be crossed on foot just upstream. However, as well as providing some defence for the Anglo-Norman population of the town against attacks by the Welsh of the surrounding areas, it served as a barrier to collect tolls from those attending markets. Tolls were authorised in the Patent Rolls of 1297 and 1315, and in subsequent town charters.

Later activities and works

Neither Monmouth town nor its castle were attacked in the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, although nearby Abergavenny and Grosmont were burned down in the uprising, and the town suffered from the devastation in surrounding areas. Over two centuries later, in the Civil War, the town changed hands several times, and in 1645 the bridge was the scene of a skirmish between Royalist soldiers from Raglan and Parliamentarians under Colonel Kirle. By 1705 the gate needed maintenance. The original battlements were replaced with solid walls, and the building was refitted to form a two-storey dwelling house, with timber and lath extensions projecting over the river. The house was then leased to a resident gatekeeper, responsible for repairing and maintaining the building. Part of it remained in use as a lock-up, and both the bridge and the gatehouse were comprehensively repaired between 1771 and 1775. The gatehouse was abandoned as a dwelling before 1804.

The lean-to extensions were in turn demolished in 1815, and in 1819 a pedestrian passageway was driven through the building on the upstream side, to help relieve the flows of traffic across the bridge. Before 1830, the gatehouse was owned by Monmouth Corporation, but was then formally transferred to the Duke of Beaufort as part of a property exchange. The gatehouse roof was reconstructed in 1832, with deeper eaves and four decorative corbels on each side. A second passageway was added on the downstream side of the arch in 1845. Since then, the structure has remained essentially unchanged, through regular maintenance and repair. Its ownership was transferred to the County Council in 1900, as noted on a brass plaque attached to the gatehouse.

Until the mid-19th century, the gatehouse was the scene of annual battles, or "muntlings", between rival gangs from "Up-Town" – the main town of Monmouth – and Overmonnow or "Cappers' Town", so called because it was the traditional home of those who made Monmouth caps. These took place on 1 and 29 May, the youths arming themselves with besoms or "muntles" reinforced with stones. The altercations were banned in 1858.

Into the 20th century

From 1889 to 1902 an extensive programme of conservation was carried out on the bridge, this began with the prevention of the potential collapse of the tower by inserting metal rods to tie the two faces of the tower together, the four round plates of the at the ends of these two rods can still be seen. In 1892, work began on the arches and piers of the bridge as it was discovered that riverbed erosion had seriously undermined the piers. This period of conservation was ended with maintenance being carried out on the gate tower exterior from the mid-1890s to 1897. Roof guttering and downpipes were added, badly eroded stone was replaced with squared blocks of old red sandstone and the cruciform arrow slit on the front, left, of the tower was restored to make it symmetrical. In April 1893, the bridge's first street lamp was erected by the town council. In the late 1920s the top portion was replaced with twin electric lamps. In the 1960s the lamp was removed completely and since 1991 the bridge has been floodlit

In the 20th century the growth of traffic using the road, with resulting accidents and congestion on what was a humpback bridge with poor visibility and narrow approach roads, led to many proposals to by-pass the bridge. The structure was first formally recognised as an Ancient Monument in 1923, and proposals for a new road bridge began to be made about the same time. The new A40, built in 1965/66 relieved the town of much through traffic, and a town centre plan prepared by the District Council in 1981 proposed a new bridge. A serious accident on 18 May 1982, when a double decker bus attempted to cross into Monmouth, closed the bridge for a month while major repairs were performed.

A feasibility study was made in 1999 by engineers Ove Arup and Partners for a bridge further along from the Monnow bridge, but the scheme came to nothing. However, a new road bridge over the Monnow, for local traffic within the town, was eventually built and opened on 15 March 2004, allowing the old bridge to become pedestrianised. The project also meant the demolition of the old cattle market. To commemorate the Millennium, a ceramic mosaic was installed by Monmouth Town Council. The circular plinth is made of 40 tiles that illustrate over 2,000 years of local history. The image of the bridge is recognised as an icon representing the town.

 

The Kymin

The Kymin
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Description

The Kymin, or Kymin Hill, is a hill overlooking Monmouth, in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is located approximately one mile east of Monmouth, on the eastern side of the River Wye and adjacent to the border with Gloucestershire's Forest of Dean and England. The summit of the hill, about 800 feet above sea level, is known for its neo-classical monuments, built between 1794 and 1800. The site is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

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The Roundhouse is a white round tower, in two storeys with a crenellated roof, similar to a folly. It was constructed in 1794 on the wishes and from the pockets of a group of Monmouth's gentlemen, the Monmouth Picnic Club or Kymin Club, led by Philip Meakins Hardwick. The subscription list was headed by the local landowner, the Duke of Beaufort, and eight Members of Parliament. The members of the Kymin Club were drawn from "the principal Gentlemen of Monmouth and its vicinity", and met each week "for the purpose of dining together, and spending the day in a social and friendly manner". They wished for a venue suitable for their regular meetings, dining and events, especially in the summer months. To this end it was designed and built with kitchens on the ground floor and a banqueting room above, with powerful telescopes fitted on the roof in season to fully take in the views. The house was made available, for a fee, for use by other appropriate parties.

It was claimed that nine counties could be viewed from the roof (Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Glamorganshire, Breconshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire and Somerset). A bowling green was laid outside, and there were also stables. On the steep wooded escarpment beneath the house was laid out the Beaulieu Grove, a series of walks provided with seats from which to contemplate the views. Access to the site was improved by the construction, after 1799, of a new carriage road up the hill. The bowling green was later used for other sports, including hockey, and as a showground during major celebrations such as that for the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1905.

The Roundhouse is a Grade II* listed building as of 27 June 1952.

The Naval Temple

The hill has a Naval Temple on its summit, constructed by the Kymin Club in 1800 to commemorate the second anniversary of the British naval victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 and in recognition of sixteen of the British Royal Navy's Admirals who had delivered significant victories in other major sea battles of the age around the globe to that date. The memorial is classical in design, topped by a bronze seated figure of Britannia (now a replica). The Temple was dedicated by the Duchess of Beaufort, the daughter of Admiral Boscawen, one of those commemorated in the building.

The square Naval Temple has round plaques or medallions, four on each face, for each Admiral and the victory with which he was most closely associated and its date. The named Admirals are:

  • Vice Admiral Charles Thompson (admiral)

  • Rear Admiral Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown

  • Vice Admiral Edward Boscawen

  • Vice Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet

  • Admiral Howe

  • Admiral John Borlase Warren

  • Admiral John Gell (was retired locally near Crickhowell when this was built.)

  • Admiral Lord Nelson

  • Admiral John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent and also Admiral of the Fleet

  • Vice Admiral George Rodney

  • Admiral Hawke who was also First Lord of the Admiralty

  • Vice Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport

  • Vice-Admiral William Cornwallis

  • Admiral Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet another Admiral of the Fleet

  • Admiral George Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith

  • Admiral Andrew Mitchell (Royal Navy officer)

Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson himself visited Monmouth in 1802, along with Lady Hamilton and her husband, Sir William Hamilton, who was to die by April 1803. They travelled down river on theRiver Wye from Ross-on-Wye to Monmouth to cannonades firing, the town band playing and being greeted by the mayor accompanied by all the local dignitaries of the county and local crowds. Staying in Monmouth for just a couple of days, Nelson visited the Naval Temple and the Roundhouse on Kymin Hill, where he breakfasted and admired the views. He was struck with the Naval Temple, saying that "it was the only monument of its kind erected to the Royal Navy in the Kingdom".

That this should be done not in one of Britain's major naval ports but in a small provincial county town in Wales far from the sea and with no great naval or seafaring traditions stayed with Nelson. This was of course three years before his own glorious victory, and death, at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and Nelson's Column would not be built until 1843. The Britannia Monument, to Nelson, in Great Yarmouth would not be built until 1817. Monmouth has its own Nelson Museum in the town centre, started by the collections of Lady Llangattock, mother of Charles Rolls.

According to researcher Peter Borsay, the monument's design, and its location overlooking the border between England and Wales, were symbolic of the formation of Great Britain. It was built at the time of the Act of Union with Ireland, about a century after that with Scotland, and at a time when the United Kingdom was engaged in a war with France which was helping to define, and being used to define, what it was to be British.

Up until 1797 Britannia was conventionally depicted holding a spear, but as a consequence of the increasingly prominent role of the navy in the war against the French, and of several spectacular victories, the spear was replaced by a trident. It is this that the Kymin Britannia wields. The navy had come to be seen... as the very bulwark of British liberty and the essence of what it was to be British... It was therefore entirely appropriate that the temple should be a naval one, that the heroes celebrated should all be naval officers, and that battles commemorated ones fought at sea." In building the temple, Monmouth staked its own claim to be the centre of British identity as the birthplace of King Henry V, of whom a statue was placed on the Shire Hall in 1792. Within two years of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 the name of the town's market place had been changed to Agincourt Square "in order to celebrate a victory of Henry V's that seemed as famous as Wellington's.

Today

The Kymin is accessed by a winding road climbing up off the A4136 Monmouth to Forest of Dean road. The area is managed and conserved by the National Trust and there is a car park near the summit with an easy walk to both the Temple and the Roundhouse. The views on a clear day are magnificent.

The landscape features incorporated within the woodland at Beaulieu Grove were apparently destroyed early in the 19th century. The Woodland Trust is undertaking research into the history of the area, and provides access to the woods.

The Kymin Dash is a cross country running hill race which used to take place annually as part of Monmouth's carnival and festival fortnight in July. The course covers about 7 miles, circling the town and both ascending and descending the Kymin by forest tracks, field paths and minor roads. The course record is 38 mins 54 secs, set by P. Wheeler in 1985. After a short break, the Kymin Dash is set to return with a new course and new date in April 2013.

 

Monmouth Priory

Monmouth Priory
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Monmouth Priory, Priory Street, Monmouth, Monmouthshire is a building that incorporates the remains of the monastic buildings attached to St Mary’s Priory Church. The priory was a Benedictine foundation of 1075, and parts of the mediaeval buildings remain. The buildings were substantially redeveloped in the nineteenth century for use as St Mary's National School, and now form a community centre. The complex is a Grade II* listed building as of 27 June 1952. It is one of 24 sites on the Monmouth Heritage Trail.

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The priory was founded by Withenoc (or Gwethenoc), a Breton who became lord of Monmouth in 1075. There is evidence in the Book of Llandaff of an earlier 8th century Celtic church, and it has been tentatively suggested that this may have been on the site of the later priory. The priory was granted to the Abbey of St Florent at Saumur, and was consecrated in 1101. The priory church was extended and became the parish church later in the twelfth century. The priory was dissolved in 1536.

The monastic buildings were located on the north side of the priory church. Traces of an infirmary were discovered in 1906, when the site of the Baptist Church was being prepared for building. The surviving buildings were the prior's lodgings. The only recognisable surviving medieval feature is the "sumptuous mid-C15 oriel window" which is often erroneously described as having a connection with Geoffrey of Monmouth who lived over three centuries earlier, and which in fact is likely to have formed part of the priory gatehouse. The window contains three corbels in the form of carved heads of high quality, although there is some uncertainly as to exactly what they depict: Newman describing them as representing "an angel between a civilian and what may be a bedesman", whilst Kissack is more empathic in suggesting they portray "a knight, an angel and a miller." The prior's lodgings were extended on several occasions in the nineteenth century, when they were used as St Mary's National School.

The building was restored with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Architect Keith Murray was commissioned to draw up plans for the renovation of the building, which was completed in 2002. It is now available for community use for events such as weddings, conferences and exhibitions.

The Geoffrey Tapestry

In December 2000 it was suggested that a wall hanging might be produced to illustrate the life of Geoffrey of Monmouth. Research, design and preparation took six months and the first stitches were worked in July 2001, at the festivities to celebrate the Priory's 900th anniversary. The work, measuring 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) by 1.6 metres (5.2 ft), was completed in May 2003, after a combined effort by the 14 volunteers of 2,750 hours.

The background design is based on Kempe's ‘The Four Rivers Window’ in St Mary's Priory Church, Monmouth. A Celtic knot pattern gradually rises from green (earth) through blue (sky) to purple (heaven). These intertwining lines were also used by the Hereford School of Romanesque sculptors who were involved with the Priory at the end of the 11th century. A beaded motif from one of the capitals is used in the lower panels of each of the background.

Of the three embroidered "windows", the central panel depicts Geoffrey of Monmouth, modelled on Father James Coutts who instigated the refurbishment of Monmouth Priory. He wears the black habit of the Benedictines. King Arthur with his Queen Guinevere, is being crowned at Caerleon by Dubricius (modelled on the Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and former Bishop of Monmouth). Here the River Usk echoes the river theme of Kempe’s 19th century stained glass window. The Monnow and the Usk link up with the River Wye in the third panel. In this scene King Vortigern listens to the young Merlin telling him the legend of the red and white dragons. Vortigern, initially a lord of Gwent, was, according to legend, eventually killed at Ganarew above the Wye Valley.

Linking the embroidered panels with the background are three circular designs in the lower panels. Beneath Geoffrey is the head of the angel that can be seen outside, sculpted underneath "Geoffrey’s Window". Below Arthur is his shield, "Pridwen", with its image of the Virgin Mary, whilst "Caliburn", his sword, can be seen in the initial ‘A’. Finally, the red and white dragons can be found in the Vortigern panel.

 

Great Castle House

Great Castle House
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Description

Great Castle House is a former town house built on the site of part of Monmouth Castle in Wales. Amongst the town's most significant buildings, it has a Grade 1 listing and is one of 24 sites on the Monmouth Heritage Trail. The house is located on Castle Hill, off Agincourt Square in Monmouth town centre.

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Described as "a house of splendid swagger outside and in", it was completed in 1673 for Henry Somerset, the 3rd Marquis of Worcester, who was Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches. It later became an Assize Court, until the Court moved to the new Shire Hall in 1725. It has been the Headquarters of Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) since the mid-19th century, and contains the Regimental Museum.

History and architecture

When Worcester was appointed to the post of President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, he decided that he needed a seat in the Marches appropriate to his status. The house was primarily intended to be used for ceremonial and official, rather than domestic, purposes. The architect is unknown. The house was built of mottled pink and grey blocks of Old Red Sandstone, probably mostly reused from the gatehouse and Great Tower of the castle, which were wholly or partly demolished after the Civil War; much has been renewed more recently. The remains of the castle stand in the far left-hand side of the courtyard in front of the house.

The facade of the house is severely symmetrical with an elegant and decorative doorway. The two side wings are 19th-century additions to a building that originally stood alone. The interior is described as "astonishing", particularly for its plasterwork. On the first floor there is a large room with extravagantly decorated ceilings; this was originally five rooms, later combined as the main courtroom. The plasterwork was mostly made by travelling craftsmen using established patterns, but has been lavishly and ostentatiously fashioned with pendant floral festoons laced with ribbons in what were originally the Marquis's private rooms.

Shortly after building Great Castle House, Worcester was created Duke of Beaufort, and needed still larger houses, first at Troy House and then at Badminton House, leaving Great Castle House to be repaneled for the Assizes. When the Assizes moved to Shire Hall in 1725, the house became lodgings for the judges (though part of it was let to a maker of drainage pipes), but later they moved to less spacious lodgings in the town, and from about 1760 the house provided a high-class school for young ladies.

Castle and Regimental Museum

In 1853, it became the headquarters of the Militia Regiment, later the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, the Senior Regiment of the Reserve Army. Most of the building remains as the regiment's headquarters, but part now houses the Castle and Regimental Museum, established in 1989, which is open in the afternoon in summer. The Museum opens onto the King's Garden, containing plants known to have been growing at the time of Henry V (1386–1422), who was born in the castle. The museum displays include regimental artefacts and regalia, the importance of the Dukes of Beaufort, the earlier defences of Monmouth and its castle, HMS Monmouth, and the military activities of the regiment from its founding to the present.

 

Monmouth Castle

Monmouth Castle
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Description

Monmouth castle is located close to the centre of Monmouth town on a hill towering over the River Monnow, behind shops and the main square and streets. Once an important border castle, it stood until the English Civil War when it was damaged and changed hands three times before suffering the indignity of slighting to prevent it being fortified again. After partial collapse in 1647, the site was reused and built over by Castle House.

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Early Norman border castle

It was built by William FitzOsbern, 1st Earl of Hereford, the castle builder, in around 1067 to 1071 and shares some similarities with Chepstow Castle, another of FitzOsbern's designs further south on the River Wye in Monmouthshire.

Initially Monmouth was simply a fairly typical border castle in the Welsh Marches presided over by a Marcher Lord and similar in style and status to its neighbours Grosmont Castle, Skenfrith Castle, White Castle or Abergavenny Castle.

Expansion

In 1267 Monmouth Castle passed into the hands of Edmund Crouchback (1245 - 1296), Earl of Lancaster and son of King Henry III of England who redeveloped the castle and expanded it as his main residence in the area. It was also improved by Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster (1310 - 1361).

The castle was a favorite residence of Henry Bolingbroke, later King as Henry IV. It was here that in 1387 the future King Henry V of England was born, to Bolingbroke's first wife Mary de Bohun.

Civil War

In the tumult of the English Civil War Monmouth Castle changed hands three times and was slighted to prevent its military re-use. This sanctioned the demise of the castle which collapsed a few years later. The site was readily redeveloped.

Only fragments of the castle remain above ground, and on the site Castle House and Great House have been built, in 1875 the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia, the senior TA regiment today, made their HQ building here and it remains so today. It is one of the few British castles in continuous military occupancy.