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Raglan castle

Raglan castle (Gwent), half-way between Monmouth and Abergavenny, was probably first built in the 1070s to support the Norman invasion of south Wales. In the early 15th cent. the castle came by marriage to William ap Thomas, whose son Sir William Herbert rose to prominence under Edward IV as the first earl of Pembroke. The castle became the centre of an important lordship and home of one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom. It was completely rebuilt incorporating the latest defensive features, including a great tower designed for the use of cannon, as well as sumptuous domestic accommodation for Pembroke's family and household. It was probably at Raglan that the young Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, was housed under the supervision of Pembroke's wife Anne Devereux. In 1492 the Herbert barony passed by marriage to Sir Charles Somerset, created earl of Worcester in 1514. During the Civil War Raglan was garrisoned for the king. After a protracted siege the castle surrendered in August 1647 and was slighted. After the Restoration, Henry Somerset, first duke of Beaufort, built a new house at Badminton transferring some fittings from Raglan.

Lynda Rollason

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