Chepstow Castle

hepstow Castle is situated on the mouth of the river Wye and is a gate-house to the Vale of Wye. Built by William or his son Roger Fitz Osbern on a high cliff overlooking the river the castle was well situated to control movements and as a base for further exploration of Wales. In the early 12th century the castle came into the hands of the de Clare family. When Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare died in 1176 he left a daughter Isabel as heiress. Isabel married William Marshal and the castle remained with the Marshal family until 1245 when the last in the Marshal line died. Chepstow then passed on to Roger Bigod, the fourth Earl of Norfolk.

The castle is built on a thin, steeply sided rocky outcrop overlooking the River Wye. The rear of the castle is defended by a natural ravine. Internally the castle is divided into three separate baileys, an upper, middle and lower bailey following the contours of the rocky foundations it stands upon.


Chepstow Castle Key Facts
CountyMonmouthshire (9 castles)
CategoriesStone / Cliff-top
RemainsNot complete but much survives
Access to siteOnly open at certain times


YearMonthEvent
1067   Chepstow Castle begun
 Construction of Chepstow Castle is begun.

Episode: Norman Conquest  
1070   Building work at Chepstow
 William Fitz Osbern built the hall at Chepstow Castle.[1]

Episode: Norman Conquest  
1075   Chepstow Castle passes to the crown
 Roger Fitz Osbern joined an unsuccessful uprising against the king and lost. The castle then passed to the crown.[2]

Episode: Norman Conquest  
1189   William Marshal and Chepstow Castle
 In 1189 William Marshal married Isabel (Isabella), the heiress of Earl Richard de Clare. Isabel's castles passed to William including Pembroke Castle.[2] 
1245   Bigods take Chepstow Castle
 When Maud, the last of the Marshal line, died in 1245 Chepstow Castle was passed to her son Roger Bigod II, Earl of Norfolk.[2] 

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