Chepstow Castle has been a landmark of the Wyre Forest for centuries. The imposing red sandstone castle dominates its hilltop, and is visible from miles around.
Located in Chepstow, this surviving medieval castle has experienced Norman occupation and war in the form of a Civil War siege in 1648.
The original Norman motte-and-bailey castle was built by William FitzOsbern between 1067 and 1071 following the Norman Conquest to form a border fortification against Wales. Due to its distinctive shape, it soon became known as “Chepstow”, meaning “town on the hill”.
Over the following centuries, the Normans improved the castle with stone walls, towers and a great keep. By 1268, however, the defences were in a poor state and were in need of repair. The castle saw action during the invasion of Wales by Edward I during 1277 to 1283. Edward strengthened its defences with the addition of ditches and walls that encircled much of the town.
In 1323 work started on a new stone inner curtain wall, but this was destroyed during the siege led by Owain Glyndŵr in 1403. The Welsh hero was later captured at the castle and held prisoner in its great chamber.
In 1648, during the Civil War, the castle was besieged by a Royalist army under the command of Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The siege lasted for three weeks before surrender.
By the late 1700s, Chepstow Castle had become ruinous and was abandoned. It fell into further disrepair over time to leave only sections of its original structure standing.
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