Chepstow castle

views updated

Chepstow castle on the banks of the river Wye was one of the southernmost of the line of castles dominating the border with Wales. It was started immediately after the Norman Conquest by William Fitzosbern, earl of Hereford, and added to by Walter de Clare and Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke (‘Strongbow’), extending along the length of the river cliff. Later the castle passed to the Beauforts, who also owned Raglan, nearby. During the first civil war, Chepstow was held for the king and surrendered after a brief siege in 1645: it was again besieged in the second civil war in 1648. After the Restoration, it was used as a prison: Henry Marten, the regicide, was confined there and gave his name to Marten's Tower.

J. A. Cannon