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The Wye Valley

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The Wye Valley was the first of Britain 's great landscapes to be 'discovered' in the mid to late 18C. It can also claim to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

A few miles from Chepstow, just off the Offa's Dyke path, is the ruined church of St James on the Lancaut peninsular.

Photograph of St James' Church Lancaut

Photograph of a gravestone at St James' Church Lancaut

Inside the ruined church is this gravestone. The first part reads: HERE LYETH THE BODY OF HENRY STEPHENS WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 9 DAY OF AUGUST ANNO DOM 1678

The gravestone continues: HERE ALSO LYETH THE BODY OF JOHN STEPHENS OF THIS PARISH WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 25 DAY OF MAY ANNO DOM 1707.
There are a few other, harder to read, gravestones, of which this broken example is the best. These two fragments, bearing the name Margaret Reynolds, show just how frustrating monumental inscriptions can be to a family historian.

 
Tintern Abbey from across the river Wye - click for larger image

A few miles further upstream, on the River Wye, are the ruins of the Cistercian Tintern Abbey, founded in 1131. The Tintern Village Web Site provides up-to-date information about Tintern. More Tintern information is available.  Photo of village and abbey. 

plaque commemmorating the first making of brass in Tintern 1568 - click for larger picture

This tablet commemorates "near this place in the year 1568 brass was first made by alloying copper with zinc". Tintern is also the site of early ironworks in the Angiddy Valley.

The Forestry Commission manages much of the woodland in the Wye Valley.

The poet Wordsworth wrote one of his poems on a visit to Tintern Abbey.

View of Tintern from the Gloucestershire side of 
		the old railway bridge

View of Tintern from the Gloucestershire side of the old railway bridge

image of the tunnel entrance view of the disused Wye Valley Railway Tidenham tunnel entrance beneath the Offa's Dyke path at Dennel Hill

view from inside the tunnelview looking north towards Tintern from inside the disused Wye Valley tunnel at Dennel Hill. Note the tracks are still there and run the whole 1Km length of the tunnel to Netherhope.

Trellech (or Trelleck etc.!), once one of the most important towns in Wales is between Chepstow and Monmouth. The village achieved some unexpected publicity during 2000 when a boy was scratched by what was said to be a black panther. The Lost City of Trellech is being excavated. The village of Catbrook is developing a website.

St Briavels, the former administration centre for the Royal Forest of Dean has a 13C Norman castle, nowadays a Youth Hostel.

 Monmouth, where Henry V, of Agincourt fame, was born in 1387, was also the site of a Roman settlement called Blestium.  

Photograph of the Wye at Redbrook looking south The Wye at Redbrook looking south. The old railway bridge just visible in the centre

Photograph of the Wye at Redbrook looking north, towards Monmouth The Wye at Redbrook looking north, towards Monmouth

Panoramic view over Monmouth (to the right) with the 
		Abergavenny Sugar Loaf in the distance
View over Monmouth (to the right) with the Abergavenny Sugar Loaf in the distance
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Site last updated
Friday, 25 May 2012
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