Chepstow Castle

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Chepstow, on its rock above the swirling waters of the River Wye, stands guard over a strategic crossing point into Wales. In a land of castles, Chepstow can rightly claim special status. Started just after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 by William Fitz Osbern, a cohort of William the Conqueror, it was a landmark in more ways than one. Chepstow, built to secure Fitz Osbern's new territories in the Welsh Borders, was amongst the first of Britain's stone-built strongholds. It was one of a new breed of Castles which quickly spread across the landscape, replacing the old timber-and-earth fortifications.

The mellow-walled Chepstow we see today is an intriguing amalgam of different periods. Started during the infancy of castle building, it was improved throughout the centuries right up to the Civil War and beyond. As such, it is one of the few Castles in Britain which traces the evolution of medieval military architecture from start to finish.

At its core remains Fitz Osbern's stone keep, in later centuries, towers, walls, gatehouses and barbicans were added, until the long, narrow castle occupied the entire cliff-back ridge above the Wye. As a final complement to its strength and setting, Chepstow was adapted for cannon and musketry after a long siege in the Civil War, and continued in use until 1690. Beautifully preserved Chepstow Castle is a history lesson in stone. It not only brings to life the way in which a castle can grow from rudimentary keep to sophisticated fortress, but also reveals a domestic dimension through its 13th century hall and kitchen block.

Top: aerial view of Chepstow Castle
Left: Civil War exhibition


Opening Hours
(last admission half an hour before closing)
Summer 22nd March to 21st May
9.30am to 5.00pm
22nd May to 3rd October
9.30am to 6.00pm
Winter 4th to 31st October
9.30am to 5.00pm
1st November to 28th March
Mon to Sat 11.00am to 4.00pm
Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm
Closed 24th to 26th December and 1st January
For more information contact:

Cadw, Marketing Desk,
Crown Building, Cathays Park,
Cardiff CF1 3NQ.
Tel: 02920 500200

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