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Chepstow Page 2
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Chepstow Milestones
Chepstow Environment
Old Chepstow
Outdoor Pursuits
The Wye Valley

Chepstow welcome sign - click for larger image

click for close up view of castle
Chepstow Castle from Tutshill, across the Wye - click for larger image a view of John Rennie's 1816 bridge looking towards the Gloucestershire bank - click for larger image

Chepstow is an ancient walled market town and former port with a Norman castle situated on the River Wye (Afon Gwy), just inside the Welsh border, a short distance upstream from where the Wye and Severn rivers merge.

click for a readable picture of the Chepstow Port Wall plaque Chepstow Port Wall plaque on the wall in the car park near the entrance to The Dell

William FitzOsbern's Castle was founded in 1067 for the Norman conquest of this part of Wales. Perhaps associated with the castle is a ruined watch tower on a hill on the Gloucestershire side of the Wye, overlooking Chepstow Castle and town.  See a photo of the Castle and Bridge.

View of John Rennie's 1816 bridge, with the tide out, from the Monmouthshire side of the Wye - click for larger imageView from the Monmouthshire bank looking north at low tide - click for larger imageview upstream from the bridge

A view of the castle can be enjoyed from John Rennie's 1816 cast-iron bridge, which joins Chepstow to Gloucestershire. Further downstream, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 1852 tubular Railway Bridge was replaced in 1962 and, more recently,  a new road bridge was added alongside. 

Whilst on the bridge it is possible to appreciate why  the wooden bridges which spanned the river here since Norman times did not last long in the fierce tides. On 17 October 1883, the high tide was recorded by placing a tide mark plaque on the bridge which can still be seen today located near the Bridge Inn. The Chepstow Flood Alleviation Scheme was opened 9 October 2001 according to this rather worn plaque on the riverside.

The railway came to Chepstow in 1850/51 and it still has a railway station, being a stop on the line between Birmingham, Gloucester, Cardiff and Swansea. It is a matter for regret that the line north to Monmouth, through the scenic Wye Valley, has been closed since the 1960s. Not only have the tracks been removed, but parts of the route have been used to widen the road and bridges removed for safety. So there is little prospect of a revival, despite optimistic proposals. What a tourist attraction it would have been now.

click for larger version of Chartists plaque

There is a memorial plaque on the waterfront recording the fact that the leaders of the Chartist Insurrection were transported from the Port of Chepstow to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the 3 February 1840.

[GenUKI Site for Chepstow] [Chepstow Male Voice Choir] [Wikitravel on Chepstow] [Kelly's 1901 Directory of Monmouthshire] [Chepstow War Memorial Names]

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Sunday, 07 September 2014
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