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Historical & Natural Attractions

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle is a stunning medieval fortress located in the town of Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is the oldest post Roman castle in Britain. It was built by William FitzOsbern, the Earl of Hereford, in 1067 and was the first Norman castle from the period of William The Conqueror It was later extended and renovated by various other noble families throughout the centuries. The castle is situated on a clifftop overlooking the River Wye, providing a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.

One of the most striking features of Chepstow Castle is its imposing defensive walls, which encircle the entire complex. These walls are up to 12 feet thick in some places and are punctuated by imposing towers and gatehouses. The Great Tower, or Keep, is particularly impressive, rising to a height of over 80 feet and featuring a spiral staircase leading to the top, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The castle houses the oldest castle doors in Europe, dating back to 1190. They were still the castle’s main gates until 1963, when they were removed to the inside of the castle to protect them from damage.

Inside the castle walls, visitors can explore a range of fascinating structures, including the Great Hall, which was once used for banquets and other large gatherings. The hall features an impressive fireplace, and visitors can still see the remains of the castle’s original medieval floor tiles. Other notable structures within the castle complex include the wine cellar, the kitchens, and the chapel, which still retains many of its original architectural features.

One of the most interesting aspects of Chepstow Castle is its rich history, which spans over 900 years. The castle played a key role in many of the major conflicts and power struggles that shaped the history of Wales and England, including the Norman Conquest, the Welsh Wars, and the English Civil War. Visitors can learn about these events and more by exploring the castle’s numerous exhibits and displays, which include informative panels, interactive exhibits, and historical artifacts.

In addition to its historical significance, Chepstow Castle is also renowned for its stunning architecture and picturesque setting. The castle’s strategic location on the banks of the River Wye makes it an ideal spot for photographers and nature lovers, who can take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Overall, Chepstow Castle is a truly remarkable example of medieval fortification, and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or the natural beauty of Wales. With its imposing walls, fascinating structures, and rich history, it offers a unique window into the past, and a glimpse of the enduring legacy of the medieval period.

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