- Louise Wyatt
15th June 2019
Monmouth, the historic county town of Monmouthshire in Wales, was the site of a Bronze Age boatbuilding community and a Roman fort. Today’s town was built around a Norman castle, guarding the River Wye, close to the border with England and Offa’s Dyke. The castle, built by William the Conqueror’s childhood friend William FitzOsbern, still contains the Territorial Army, making it one of the longest-occupied castles in Britain. It was also a favourite residence of Henry IV and the birthplace of Henry V. The medieval stone Monnow Bridge gatehouse, the only surviving example in Britain, was part of the town’s original defensive wall, as was the defensive ditch and its surviving medieval bridge at nearby Overmonnow.
In later centuries Nelson visited Monmouth and stayed at the Kymin, a few miles outside the town. Monmouth once had a port and wharves and its shipping and naval links extended to Tintern and the River Wye as well as the Forest of Dean. Also nearby was the family estate of the Rolls family, whose most famous son was Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce.
Secret Monmouth explores the lesser-known episodes and characters in the town’s history through the centuries. Fully illustrated, it will appeal to all those with an interest in this area of Wales.