Chepstow Castle, Wales



Chepstow Castle, located in Chepstow, Monmouthshire in Wales, on top of cliffs overlooking the River Wye, is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Its construction was begun under the instruction of the Norman Lord William fitzOsbern, soon made Earl of Hereford, from 1067, and it was the southernmost of a chain of castles built along the English-Welsh border in the Welsh Marches. The castle ruins are Grade I listed as at 6 December 1950.

Chepstow Castle is situated on a narrow ridge between the limestone cliffs of the river and a valley, known locally as the Dell, to its landward side. Its full extent is best appreciated from the opposite bank of the River Wye. The castle has four baileys, added in turn through its history. Despite this, it is not a defensively strong castle, having neither a strong keep nor a concentric layout. The multiple baileys instead show its construction history, which is generally considered in four major phases. The first serious architectural study of Chepstow began in 1904 and the canonical description was long considered to be by Perks in 1955. Recent studies have revised the details of these phases, but still maintain the same broad structure.


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