Monmouth & Monmouthshire

Monmouth & Monmouthshire in Wales


Monmouth (a shortened version of ‘Mouth of the Monnow’) became the county town of Monmouthshire in 1536. It is located on the confluence of the rivers Monnow, Trothy and Wye, just two miles from the border of England. It has a population of around 10,500. As the town sits at the heart of the Wye Valley there’s no wonder it’s become a tourist base for the local area as well as a popular market town.

The town was cited on a small Roman fort called Blestium with the Normans building a castle there after 1067. The town has a thirteenth-century medieval stone gated bridge which is the only one of its type still standing in Britain. The castle eventually became the property of the House of Lancaster and is where King Henry V was born in 1387.

Between 1857 and 1883, four railways were built to serve Monmouth, they were ‘The Coleford,’ ‘Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool Railway,’ ‘The Ross and Monmouth Railway,’ ‘The Wye Valley Railway’ and ‘The Coleford Railway.’ All these lines were closed between 1917 and 1964 with the passenger service ending in 1959.

Monmouth had links with the Rolls family in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Rolls family built a mansion at ‘The Hendre’ close to the town. In 1904, Charles Rolls started a new car making business with Henry Royce, but in 1910 he was killed in a plane crash aged just 32. He is commemorated by a statue in Agincourt Square.


The county of Monmouthshire was formed in 1535, bordering Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Brecknockshire and Glamorgan. Being so close to the English border it was not always recognised as part of Wales, in fact for several centuries Parliament often referred to the area as “Wales and Monmouthshire”. The Local Government Act in 1972 (which came into effect in April 1974), finally confirmed the county as part of Wales.

The largest town in the county of Monmouthshire is Abergavenny, with other popular towns and villages including Caldicot, Chepstow, Magor, Usk and of course, Monmouth.
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Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire
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Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire

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