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Chepstow Town Wall and Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Chepstow (Cas-gwent), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6411 / 51°38'28"N

Longitude: -2.6762 / 2°40'34"W

OS Eastings: 353306

OS Northings: 193808

OS Grid: ST533938

Mapcode National: GBR JM.7TSS

Mapcode Global: VH87T.K0LQ

Entry Name: Chepstow Town Wall and Gate

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3136

Cadw Legacy ID: MM002

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Town defences

Period: Medieval

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Chepstow (Cas-gwent)

Built-Up Area: Chepstow

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a stretch of the medieval town wall and gate. Chepstow Town Wall, traditionally known as the 'Port Wall', was built by Roger Bigod III between 1272 and 1278, when he was improving the castle. It enclosed an area much larger than the town (around 55 hectares), which only occupied what is now the town centre; the rest of the area enclosed was given over to orchards and meadows. Originally the wall was continuous, 1.1km long and 3m to 4m high. It provided the south-western defence of the town while the Wye River protected the north and the east. The wall starts on its north-western limit with a rectangular tower, 5m high, and proceeds south-eastwards in a 2m wide section which includes two round towers followed by a long, continuous stretch 4m wide and 4.5m high. In total there are ten towers placed at regular intervals along the length of the wall, all are semi-circular in plan, open on the inner side. A wall walk would originally have run the full length of the wall, positioned behind the battlements. To the west of the castle is the town gate, which remains in use with the modern High Street passing through it. The town gate was built in the late 13th century and is a sinple archway with a battlemented chamber above. The modern form is essentially medieval, although it was altered in the 15th century and then converted in to a prison in 1524 by the Earl of Worcester. It was extensively repaired in the 19th century when the windows, battlements and the arch were replaced.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval defensive organisation and of the growth of towns. The monument forms an important element within the wider medieval context and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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