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Monmouth Town Guide
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Built to defend the town, it originally had a sentry rampart and a portcullis but was later used to collect tolls, as a guardroom, a lock-up and private dwelling amongst other things. When the bridge was widened, the gatehouse walls were opened to allow access to pedestrians.
Close to the town centre, the Nelson Museum houses a wonderful collection of artefacts relating to Horatio Nelson. Here on display you will find models of ships, weaponry, ceramics and silverware, pictures and letters. Also at the museum is an interesting history of Monmouth which includes info about one half of the Rolls Royce partnership, Charles Stuart Rolls, who resided close to Monmouth.
The Nelson Garden is a small garden that contains a 19th century pavilion on the site that Horatio Nelson, Emma Hamilton and her husband, Sir William Hamilton were entertained in 1802.
The Castle and Regimental Museum is situated within the confines of Monmouth Castle and has free admission. The museum concerns the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, which is the only remaining regiment from the Militia and has displays of the Militia System with other points covering the castle’s defences and exhibits of the Home Front and more recent military conflicts.
Geoffrey’s Window can be found among the old Priory buildings. This lovely window, projecting out from the wall, once formed part of a Benedictine structure that had links with Geoffrey of Monmouth. Though the oriel window dates from around 300 years after Geoffrey’s time, it’s well worth a look for its battlements and gargoyles – three heads that portray the Miller, the Angel and the Knight.
Monmouth Castle, overlooking the River Monnow, was the birthplace of Henry V in 1387 and in its time has been in the hands of both the Royalists and the Roundheads. Today, the castle is pretty much in ruins but with the curtain wall, the round keep and the gatehouse left standing.
All that remains of Monmouth Gaol is the gatehouse. This building once covered a large area and resembled a medieval fortress, containing such things as an infirmary and treadmill for prisoners along with a chapel.
The Naval Temple was erected in 1800 and sits atop a hill overlooking Monmouth. This Georgian structure is a memorial to the British Navy and in particular, to sixteen Admirals who were victorious in battles throughout the 18th century.
The parish church of St Mary’s has origins in Norman times but was restored and then later rebuild, but retains an earlier tower and spire. Features of note include the Lady Chapel, some medieval tiles, and stained glass windows from the school of Charles Eamer Kempe.
Monmouth has a lively theatre, The Blake Theatre, which opened in 2004 and now puts on a variety of shows and films.
The Monmouth Festival is an annual event and is one of the largest free music and entertainment festival in Britain. There’s everything here from rock to classical and all roads in between.
Recommended towns and villages near Monmouth;
Abergavenny > Hereford > Kilpeck > Symonds Yat > Ross-on-Wye
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