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Monmouth, the historic county town of Monmouthshire in Wales, was the site of a Bronze Age boat-building community and a Roman fort. Today’s town was built around a Norman castle, guarding the River Wye, close to the border with England and Offa’s Dyke. The castle, built by William the Conqueror’s childhood friend William FitzOsbern, still contains the Territorial Army making it one of the longest occupied castles in Britain. It was also a favourite residence of Henry IV and birthplace of Henry V. The area was heavily fought over and in the 11th century the Welsh princes fought the Saxons at Monmouth and in 1233 the Battle of Monmouth was fought between Henry III and Prince Llewellyn. The mediaeval stone Monnow Bridge Gatehouse, the only surviving example in Britain, was part of the town’s original defensive wall, as was the defensive ditch, with its surviving medieval bridge, at nearby Overmonnow.
©2019 Emma Powell