I spent last week, amongst other things, visiting castles in Wales. My weekend in Scotland a few weeks ago allowed me to visit some very interesting Castles. You can see those here and here. It got me interested once more in medieval history and the fabulous castles that were built at that time. I stayed last week with my friend Poppy and her husband, in Worcestershire. Wales is just a short drive away and the border with England is littered with castles. I had a fantastic week and enjoyed being a tourist, visiting these places, many for the first time.
This post is all about Chepstow Castle. Chepstow is a Norman castle perched high above the banks of the river Wye in southeast Wales. Construction began at Chepstow in 1067, less than a year after William the Conqueror was crowned King of England. William employed his loyal Norman lord William FitzOsbern to build the castle. FitzOsbern’s fortresses were the vehicles from which the new king consolidated control of his newly conquered lands. Chepstow Castle became the key launching point for expeditions into Wales, expeditions that eventually subdued the rebellious population. Chepstow is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in the UK. To think the wooden door with its hinges and latches in the picture below is nearly 950 years old. They certainly built things to last in the 11th century!