Wales

Chepstow Castle

Coming as close to Harlech Castle in historical significance, Chepstow Castle is the country’s oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortress. Under the lead of William FitzOsbern, William the Conqueror’s loyal master builder, it took shape in the 1060s and eventually became the key base for expeditions into Wales.

The oldest part of the castle, the Norman-era great tower was constructed in the 17th century, replacing old-school medieval battlements with stronger, musket-friendly parapets. Embracing cultural and technical advancements, the castle morphed over the following centuries. Changing its appearance as often as architects, the castle continuously evolved until 1690, when its military purpose began to wane.

Following its role in the English Civil War, when it saw frontline action between Royalist Monmouthshire and Parliamentarian Gloucestershire, the castle’s garrison was eventually disbanded. Over the next two hundred years, Chepstow Castle was put to residential and some manufactural use, and ultimately left to crumble. Then, in the 1800s, tourism began in England to boom and another 100 years later in 1913, conservation work began.

Fortunately for us, the Chepstow Castle is now properly looked after and open to the public. Pay a visit and wander through the archways, follow time-old stone walls and look through embrasures to look out over the fantastic countryside all around. Make sure you keep an eye out for the castle’s old doors on display too, the oldest castle doors in Europe at over 800 years old. Holding a variety of events throughout the year and hosting lots of children’s activities in the summer, it is a great day out for all the family.

With varied opening hours throughout the year, Chepstow Castle only closes for a couple of months. Providing wheelchair access and also dog-friendly, bundle up the whole family and lose yourself in this veritable time capsule. The castle also has an exhibition and gift shop, and Chepstow Museum is just over the road to give you an extra insight into the area.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Wales here.

Chepstow Castle, 1 Bridge St, Chepstow NP16 5EY | 01291 624065 | https://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/chepstow-castle/

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