The Town Gate
The original Town Gate was built at the same time as the
Port Wall during the lordship of Roger Bigod. It was rebuilt during the medieval period and the existing gate dates largely from the early 16th Century. Tolls were once collected on all cattle and goods that passed through for sale. These were paid to the Lord. In 1524 Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, restored the Gate.
Following extensive restoration by Chepstow Town Council in 1986 his armorial bearings were cast by Keith Underwood, the well known local artist, and hung on the landward face of the building. The Duke of Beaufort unveiled this heraldic achievement of his ancestor in April 1988.
The room above the Town Gate has had many and varied uses - prison, guard room, quarters for the local constable, tailors workroom, museum, to name a few. Following the recent restoration, this room was named the Margaret Cleyton room in memory of the lady who had the adjacent Gatehouse rebuilt in 1609.
The Town Gate was entrusted to the custody of Chepstow Urban District Council in 1899 as a bequest from the late Duke of Beaufort and the Gatehouse was presented to the town in 1919.
The building now houses the Town Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau and is available for meetings and functions.
For further details contact Chepstow Town Council on 01291 626370, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Port Wall
The medieval town of Chepstow was protected on the
north and east by the Wye and the town or Port Wall, which was built in the late 13th Century to afford protection on the landward sides.
In total the Port Wall was over 1,200 yards (1,100 metres) long, 6 feet (2 metres) thick and 15feet (4.6 metres) high. Originally at least a dozen towers about 27feet (8.2 metres) in diameter were built along the wall and around the outside there was a dry moat about 18 feet (5.5 metres) wide and 5feet (1.5.metres) deep.
Access to the Town from the landward side was through the Town Gate only controlled by means of a gate and portcullis. Although impressive in scale, the wall was built as a means of controlling entry to the town and not for defence. This type of wall was know as a “Customs Wall.”
Much of the wall is still in an excellent state of preservation and can be viewed today. Particular vantage points include the main car park (off Welsh Street), the main A48 and the Railway Station area).