Other Close Attractions
Abergavenny Museum presents the story of this historic market town from Prehistoric and Roman times right through to the present day. Displays include recreations of a Victorian Welsh farmhouse kitchen and a saddler's workshop. Housed in a Regency hunting lodge, the museum is set within the ruins of Abergavenny's Norman castle. As the seat of the medieval lords of Abergavenny, the castle was the focus for over three centuries of border warfare. In 1175 it was the scene of the infamous massacre of the Welsh chieftains by the Norman Lord, William de Braose. The castle and its picturesque grounds have been open to the public since 1881.
Open: Mon-Sat 11.00am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 5.00pm, Sun 2.00pm - 5.00pm November - February inclusive, closed at 4.00pm and all day Sunday. Details: Abergavenny Museum, The Castle, Castle Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP17 5EE - Tel: 01873 854282 Location: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire - Approximately 30 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: Take M48 /M4 west towards Newport. At junction 24 take the A449 towards Monmouth. After approximately 13 miles take the A40 towards Abergavenny
Caerwent Roman Remains
The Welsh border is rich in historic sites - and none is more intriguing than Caerwent. This sleepy spot, now a village more than a town, was an important meeting place of Roman and native influence 2,000 years ago. Caerwent is the only walled Roman civilian town in Wales. The invaders from Rome established a market town here for the Silures, a local Celtic tribe, and called it Venta Silurum. The sturdy Roman defences, in the shape of extensive town walls, are some of the best preserved in Britain. within the walls, part of the forum-basilica, where the town's leaders conducted their business, can still be seen, together with the remains of a Romano-CeItic temple.
Open: All year. Details: Tourist Information Centre: Castle Car Park, Bridge Street, Chepstow NP6 5EY, Tel 01291 623772. Location: Caerwent, Monmouthshire - Approximately 5 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: Take the A48 towards Newport - Look for signs for Caerwent - Turn left into the village.
Caldicot Castle's well-preserved fortifications were founded by the Normans and fully developed, in royal hands, by the late 14th century. Restored as a family home by a wealthy Victorian, the castle offers the chance to explore medieval walls and towers in a setting of tranquil gardens and wooded Country Park.
Open: Daily March to October - 10.30am to 5.00pm - 1.30pm to 5.00pm on Sundays Admission charge for Castle - Country Park free. Details :The Castle Keeper, Caldicot Castle, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP6 4HU. Telephone: (01291) 420241. Location: Caldicot, Monmouthshire. - Approximately 5 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: Take A48 towards Newport, turn left at the Park Hotel roundabout. Straight on at Mitel roundabout - take next right turn into Caldicot - look for signs to Castle.
Gwent Rural Life Museum, Usk
The museum portrays life in the Welsh Border Country from Victorian times until the end of the Second World War. Displayed in an ancient Malt Barn and adjoining buildings in the historic market town of Usk (several times winner of Wales in Bloom). Visit the Farmhouse Kitchen, laundry, dairy and country craft sections, and see how people lived and worked in the past. In the Rural Life Museum there is something for all the family. River walks, numerous inns, restaurants and tea shops nearby.
Open: April to end of October. - Admission charge. Details: The Malt Barn, New Market Street, Usk, Monmouthshire NPS 1AU. Tel: (01291) 673777. Location: Usk, Monmouthshire - Approximately 22 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: Take the M48 - M4 towards Cardiff - Leave motorway at Junction 24. Take the A449 towards Monmouth. After approx. 8 miles, turn left towards Usk. The Museum is located at the River end of the town - turn left just before the bridge.
Nelson Museum, Monmouth
Horatio Nelson was born in Norfolk, died at sea and is buried in London - find out why Monmouth has such a magnificent collection of materials about the famous Admiral, and learn about his life, loves, death and commemoration.
The Local History centre, in the same building, deals with Monmouth and its people, including Charles Rolls of Rolls Royce fame and Henry V.
Open: Daily all year, 10.00am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 5.00pm (Sundays 2.00pm - 5.00pm). Admission charge, Children free, Pre-booked educational parties - free. Details: The Nelson Museum & Local History Centre, Pemory Street, Monmouth, Monmouthshire - Tel: 01600 713519. Location: Monmouth Town Centre, Monmouthshire - Approximately 17 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: A466 North to Monmouth - This route passes through the beautiful Wye Valley
Raglan Castle was begun probably on the site of a small Norman castle in the 1430's by Sir William ap Thomas. The tower is unusual in its hexagonal plan and elaborate drawbridge arrangements, two features which are more typical of northern France. The hall was the finest apartment at Raglan and hints of its splendour can be seen in the windows, moulded roof corbels and the huge fireplace.
Other notable features of the castle include the Fountain Court, the Pitched Stone Court, a buttery, pantry, kitchen tower, closet tower, office wing, south gate, chapel and state apartments with an exhibition on the history of Raglan in the closet tower and two rooms of the gate passage.
Open: All year, except Christmas Eve and Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Admission charge. Details: Raglan Castle, Raglan, Monmouthshire NP5 2BT - 01291 690228. Location: Raglan, Monmouthshire - Approximately 27 miles from Chepstow. Directions from Chepstow: Take the M48 - M4 towards Cardiff. Turn off at Junction 24. Take the A449 towards Monmouth. After approx. 13 miles turn left on A40 to Raglan. Follow signs for the Castle.
Sited next to the River Wye five miles north of Chepstow along the picturesque A466 is Tintern which provides the unique and exquisite setting of the world famous Tintern Abbey. This noble monument is one of the outstanding architectural and historical features of Great Britain. The Cistercian Abbey was started in 1131 and remained active until dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1537. The Crown purchased the Abbey from the Duke of Beaufort in 1901 and now CADW is responsible for the upkeep.
Visitors are welcomed at a modern visitor centre where popular audio-cassette tours are available to help the visitor to understand the history of the Abbey and the Cistercian way of life.
The peaceful Tintern village which is a mecca for tourists in the summer, in times past echoed to the sounds of industry, once having an iron works, a wire works and brass foundry among others. Little evidence of this remains; however, there is a tablet on the boundary wall of the Abbey recording that nearby brass was manufactured for the first time in this country. Tintern is the home of "The Old Station" - a Victorian country branch line railway station, which has been converted into an award winning tourist attraction.