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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°48′32″N 2°43′10″W / 51.80893°N 2.71938°W / 51.80893; -2.71938

Welsh: Trefynwy
Agincourt Square
Located a bit north of Wales's southeast corner, on the border with England. Wales is the center west of Great Britain.

 Monmouth shown within Wales
Population 8,547 
OS grid reference SO505125
Principal area Monmouthshire
Ceremonial county Gwent
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MONMOUTH
Postcode district NP25
Dialling code 01600
Police Gwent
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Monmouth
List of places: UK • Wales • Monmouthshire

Monmouth (pronounced /ˈmɒnməθ/ MON-məth; Welsh: Trefynwy = "town on the Monnow") is a town in southeast Wales and traditional county town of the historic county of Monmouthshire. It is situated close to the border with England, where the River Monnow meets the River Wye with bridges over both [1].

Monmouth is twinned with Carbonne, France and Waldbronn, Germany.

Monnow Bridge



The name Monmouth is an English contraction of 'Monnow-mouth'. The Welsh name for the river, Mynwy, which may originally have meant "fast-flowing", was anglicised as Monnow. The town was originally known in Welsh as Abermynwy ("mouth of the Monnow"), replaced by Trefynwy ("Monnow town" - the initial m of Mynwy mutating in Welsh to f) by the 17th century.[1] The name is pronounced by those who live in the area as 'Mon-muth'; in most of Wales it is pronounced as 'Mun-muth'.


The medieval 13th century stone gated bridge at Monnow Bridge [2] is unique in Britain being the only preserved bridge of its design remaining. There is also a long bridge over the River Wye [3]. A feasibility study was made in 1999 by world-famous engineers Ove Arup and Partners (who led the engineering design of Sydney Opera House) for a new bridge further along from the Monnow bridge, but the scheme came to nothing, and instead a more neutral bridge crossing was built, opening on March 15, 2004, thus allowing the old bridge to become pedestrianised.[2] This project has meant the demolition of the old cattle market.


Archaeological excavations undertaken by the Monmouth Archaeological Society on sites along Monnow Street have uncovered a wealth of information about the early history of the town. Indeed, the Council for British Archaeology have designated Monmouth as one of the top ten towns in Britain for archaeology.[3]

Roman times

Monmouth as an organised settlement dates back to the times of the Roman occupation of Britain and the conquest of Roman Wales. The Romans called it Blestium, and it was part of a network of Roman forts covering the region, linked via Roman roads to Abergavenny or Gobannium, Usk known as Burrium, later Isca Augusta at Caerleon and Glevum at Gloucester. Archaeologists and historians have found items of Roman pottery and Roman currency and coinage that date from that period.

Middle Ages

The town appears in the Domesday Book, and for the 11th century and 12th century the town and surrounding areas were ruled by Norman French lords after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. During this time, Monmouth Castle [4] was built, in 1067 under William Fitz-Osbern of Breteuil, Normandy, a significant castle builder, holding commanding views over the surrounding area from a sound defensive site. Initially it would have been a motte and bailey castle, rebuilt in stone and later refortified and developed over time.

A Benedictine priory [5] was also created in 1101,[4] and it was traditionally there that Geoffrey of Monmouth - author of the Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) - gained his education. A fortified bridge [6] was built during the 13th century.

The Battle of Monmouth was fought in 1233 between the rebel forces of Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, and a royalist force under John of Monmouth. The rebels carried the day and St Thomas' Church and Monnow Bridge were torched in the battle, which according to Glamorgan-Gwent Archaelogical Trust records took place beside the River Monnow on Castle Field, land today known as Vauxhall Fields. The battle was immortalised by an illustration by 13th century historian Matthew Paris, which shows Richard Marshal unhorsing Baldwin of Guisnes. The original is owned by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

The castle came into the possession of the House of Lancaster through the marriage of John of Gaunt to Blanche, a Monmouth based heiress. John of Gaunt strengthened the castle, adding the Great Hall.

In 1387, Henry V was born in Monmouth Castle in the Queen's Chamber within the gatehouse. The castle became a favourite residence of the House of Lancaster. Henry would win the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Many parts of Monmouth, including the town's main square, are named after this battle.

During the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr between 1400 and 1412 Monmouth Castle and walled town was not attacked by Welsh forces, however skirmishes and battles were fought in the area, such as at Campston Hill when Prince Henry's men followed a retreating force of Glyndwr's, capturing the Welsh standard and killing the standard bearer, Ellis ap Richard ap Howell ap Morgan Llwyd. Other battles took place at nearby at Craig-y-Dorth, at Grosmont and Usk, such as the Battle of Pwll Melyn. Grosmont town was razed and Abergavenny and Crickhowell attacked.

Post medieval times

Spede's Map of Monmouth, 1610

In 1605, James I granted Monmouth a town charter by letters patent. The granting of the charter included the charge that the town "at all perpetual future times ... be and remain a town and borough of Peace and Quiet, to the example and terror of the wicked and reward of the good".[5]

The layout of the town as depicted in Speede's map of 1610 would be easily recognisable to present day inhabitants, with the layout of the main axis from the castle via the main street, Monnow Street, to the bridge clearly visible. Monnow Street is a typical market street, in being wide in the middle (for those selling) and narrow at each end (to help prevent the livestock escaping).

In 1840 at Monmouth's Shire Hall, Chartist protestors John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones became the last men in Britain to be sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered after being found guilty of treason following riots in Newport that led to 20 deaths. The sentences were later commuted to transportation to Australia.[6]

Four railways were built to serve Monmouth between 1857 and 1883; the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool Railway, the Ross and Monmouth Railway, the Wye Valley Railway, and the Coleford Railway. All of these closed between 1917 and 1964, since when Monmouth has been without rail services.[7] One of the former lines has now been replaced by a major road, built along the same route. Monmouth's main railway station, known as Monmouth Troy, was offices for a timber yard for many years, but the building has now been dismantled and re-erected at Winchcombe railway station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.[8] The other station at Monmouth was Monmouth May Hill on the Ross and Monmouth Railway, built on the opposite bank of the River Wye to the town centre.

  The Railways of Monmouth
Water Unknown route-map component "exCONTg"
 Ross and Monmouth Railway
Scenic interest Water Unknown route-map component "exBHF"
 Monmouth Mayhill
Water turning left Unknown route-map component "exWBRÜCKE" Water turning from right
 River Wye
Unknown route-map component "exKDSTl" Unknown route-map component "exSTRlg" Unknown route-map component "exSTR" Water
 Monmouth Troy Goods Yard
Unknown route-map component "exSTRrg" Unknown route-map component "exBHFq" Unknown route-map component "exABZ3lf" Unknown route-map component "exABZgf" Water
 Monmouth Troy
Monmouth Troy Tunnel under River Trothy 
Unknown route-map component "exWTUNNEL1" Transverse water Water transverse and ahead Unknown route-map component "exWBRÜCKE" Water turning right
 River Wye
Unknown route-map component "exBHF" Water Unknown route-map component "exHST"
 Wyesham Halt
Coleford, Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool Railway 
Unknown route-map component "exCONTf" Water Unknown route-map component "exABZlf" Unknown route-map component "exCONTl"
 Wyesham Junction for Coleford Railway
Water Unknown route-map component "exCONTf"
 Wye Valley Railway


Apart from the great monmouth comprehensive school with over 1,600 pupils, there are two independent schools - Monmouth School [7] (founded 1614) and Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls [8] (founded 1892). There are also several state primary schools, with most areas served by both infants' and juniors' schools.

Monmouth Show

The annual Monmouth Show has been held each year (traditionally on the last Thursday of August) since 1919 (when it was called the Monmouthshire County Show), though its history can be traced back further to 30 May 1857 when the 8th Duke of Beaufort and Sir Charles Morgan M.P. put up the funds for a Monmouth Cattle Show. Prior to that there had been an agricultural society in the town dating back to the 1790s, which held ploughing competitions.


The Savoy Theatre in Church Street, built on the site of the oldest theatre in Wales,[9] functions as both a cinema and theatre. There are numerous public houses in the centre of Monmouth, including the Old Nags Head, the Queen's Head, the Punch House, the Griffin, the Gloucester, the Vinetree, the King's Head, the Three Horseshoes, the Green Dragon and the Gatehouse. Some of these hold pub quizzes and live music throughout the week.

Notable people

Statues of Charles Rolls (foreground) and Henry V of England (elevated behind) in Monmouth.

People associated with Monmouth include:


  1. ^ Hywel Wyn Owen, The Place-Names of Wales, 2000, University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-1458-9, p.63
  2. ^ Wayne Forster and Ove Arup and Partners - New Bridge at Monmouth, Report to Monmouthshire County Council on feasibility and urban impact of new bridge in Monmouth with Ove Arup and Partners, University of Wales Cardiff (1999)
  3. ^ See Keith Kissack, Monmouth and its Buildings, Logaston Press, 2003
  4. ^ "Monmouth Priory". Retrieved 2006-02-01.  
  5. ^ "Monmouth Town Council". Retrieved 2006-02-01.  
  6. ^ "Chartists in Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-11-20..  
  7. ^ B. M. Handley and R. Dingwall, The Wye Valley Railway and the Coleford Branch, 1982, ISBN 0-85361-530-6
  8. ^ "Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Website". Retrieved 2009-06-16.  
  9. ^ See Savoy theatre web site:
  10. ^ Chris Given-Wilson, Chronicles. The Writing of History in Medieval England. London, Palgrave Macmillan, 204, p.3.
  11. ^ Gilbert de Clare, 8th earl of Gloucester. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 21, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  12. ^ "Edmund Crouchback and Monmouth Castle". Retrieved 2009-11-21..  
  13. ^ Mary Saaler, Edward II: 1307-1327. Rubicon Press, Norwich, 1997, p. 134
  14. ^ J. Endell Tyler, Henry of Monmouth: Memoirs of the Life and Character of Henry the Fifth, 2 vols., London, Richard Bentley Publishers, 1838.
  15. ^ Peter Gaunt, Oliver Cromwell, Oxford, Blackwell, 1996, p. 93. ISBN 0-631-18356-6
  16. ^ "Liturgy Office of Wales". Retrieved 2009-11-20.  
  17. ^ "Horatio Nelson in Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-11-20..  
  18. ^ "HMS Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-12-02..  
  19. ^ "Charles Rolls in Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-11-20.  
  20. ^ "Dave Edmunds in Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-11-19.  
  21. ^ "HMSG alumni". Retrieved 2009-11-20.  
  22. ^ "Monmouth School sports teachers". Retrieved 2009-11-21.  
  23. ^ "Saul David in Monmouth". Retrieved 2009-11-19.  
  24. ^ Penny Churchill, "Country Houses for Sale in Monmouthshire", Country Life, 6.8.2009.
  25. ^ Norman Mackenzie (ed.), The Letters of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, vol. 3, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978, p. 59.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There's more than one place called Monmouth:

United Kingdom

United States of America

  • Monmouth (Illinois) - a town in Warren County, Illinois
  • Monmouth (Oregon) - a city in Polk County, Oregon
This article is a disambiguation page. If you arrived here by following a link from another page you can help by correcting it, so that it points to the appropriate disambiguated page.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

="">See Monmouth (disambiguation) for articles sharing the title Monmouth.

MONMOUTH (Welsh Mynwy), a municipal and contributory parliamentary borough, and the county town of Monmouthshire, England, 18 m. S. of Hereford, on the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901), 5095. It is picturesquely situated at the confluence of the Wye and the Monnow, between the two rivers, and is almost surrounded by hills. Portions of the town walls remain, and there is a picturesque old gateway on the Monnow bridge; but there are only insignificant ruins of the castle, which was originally a Saxon fortress, and was twice taken by the Parlia mentary forces during the Civil War. Besides the churches - that of St Mary, completed in 1882 on an ancient site, and the chapel of St Thomas, a late Norman structure - the principal buildings are the town-hall, the Rolls Hall and the free grammarschool, which was founded in 1614, and educates about 150 boys on the usual lines of a public school. A statue of Henry V., who was born in its castle, stands in the market-place. With Newport and Usk, Monmouth forms the Monmouth parliamentary district of boroughs, returning one member.

Monmouth (Monemuta) from the coincidence of position is supposed to be the Blaestium of Antoninus. Situated between the Severn and the Wye its strategic importance was early recognized by the Saxons, who fortified it against the Britons, while in later years it played a leading part in Welsh border warfare. At the time of the Domesday Survey the castle was in the custody of William Fitz Baderon. Henry III. granted it, together with the lordship of the borough, to his son Edmund Crouchback, through whose descendants both borough and castle passed into the duchy of Lancaster. Since the 18th century the dukes of Beaufort have been lords of the borough. Monmouth was a borough by prescription as early as '256, and was governed by a mayor in 1461, but was not incorporated until 1550 under the title of "Mayor, Bailiffs and Commonalty." This charter was confirmed in 1558, 1606 and 1666, a recorder and town clerk being added to the constitution. In accordance with the act of 1535-1536 Monmouth as county town obtained the right of representation in parliament; the earliest returns existing are for 1553, since which date one member has been returned regularly. Wednesday and Saturday markets were confirmed to Monmouth in 1550, with the further proviso that no others were to be held within five miles of the borough. Friday is now the weekly market-day. At the same time an annual three-days' fair, which still exists, was granted on Whit-Tuesday and successive days. During the 16th and 17th centuries the manufacture of Monmouth caps was an important industry, fostered by legislation and mentioned by Fuller in his Worthies of England. See Charles Heath, The Town of Monmouth (Monmouth, 1804).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. A town in Monmouthshire, Wales

Simple English

File:Charles Rolls
Statue of Charles Rolls.

Monmouth is a small town in Southeast Wales near the border with England. It is the county town of Monmouthshire, although the county council meets in Cwmbran. The River Wye and the River Monnow meet in Monmouth. The town is twinned with Carbonne, France and Waldbronn, Germany.

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