The river bend castle, an old gate and cliffs

Although I’ve finished the A to Z blogging challenge for this year, I don’t want to end my exploration of British castles. For some letters I was spoilt for choice. C in particular gave me lots of options and I’m going to a pick a few of them.

My first extra C is Chepstow castle on the river Wye. Another example of a castle of the borders on England and Wales, it was built on the bend of the river. Its early name was Striguil, derived from the Welsh word ystraigl, which means River Bend.  The location of the ridge of limestone provided it an excellent defensive location, however, its design wasn’t so great.

Chepstow castle

I visited the castle as a child and remember little other than it’s narrow. That narrow layout meant it didn’t boast a concentric design, like many Welsh castles. What made it different was from the outset it was built in stone and not wood, which for 1067 is pretty unusual. A very early addition to William I’s castle collection, although it wasn’t until 1090 that the great tower was completed. The thin castle had four baileys, representing the four phases of construction. I recall climbing up stone courtyards to reach the upper most parts of the castle.

Chepstow castle bailey

Chepstow is proud to possess the oldest castle door in Europe. Made from wood it has survived 800 years but had to be removed from the gateway for future preservation.  Reconstruction of the castle continued right into the 16th century as it adapted to muskets and other modern artillery.

I just love its location on the river. The cliffs especially.

chepstow castle 2

When William ordered the castle to be built, there was nothing there, not even a settlement. Chepstow is now a thriving town with a famous racecourse. As early as 1793 Chepstow had a guide book and in the 1840s, the steam boats from Bristol sailed up the Wye to offer a riverside view to tourists.

A long history. A rather magnificent one.

I would love to know how that door survived.

800px-Latticework_door,_Chepstow_castle

“Don’t slam it!”

“Da, I didn’t. I was really careful.”

“It’s just your Ma doesn’t like it when the doors bang shut. Nice ‘n’ gentle. She’s only upstairs putting your sister to bed.”

“But what about all those soldiers outside trying to get in here? They’ve got bows and arrows and -”

“Well if they make it this far, they’re not to bang the door. Bows and arrows is one thing, but your mother on the warpath is quite another matter.”

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. Well said – mom’s on the warpath are not to be messed with! 😀

    Like

  2. Beautiful place. And I’m really impressed that door came to us from so long ago. Fantastic!

    Like

  3. Such a unique design. Don’t upset the mother! 🙂

    Like

Comments are always welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

thewirralgirl

it wouldn't be thewirralgirl without you.

Rachel Walkley

Telling Tales, Revealing Secrets

Author Erika Jayne

Where stories come to life

susanne matthews

Living the Dream

Stories I Found in the Closet

The musings of writer, mother, musician and whatever else takes my fancy

Planet Pailly

Where Science Meets Fiction

Shawna Atteberry

Writer, Editor, Researcher

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

True North Bricks

A Canadian Blog about LEGO

Tossing It Out

The musings of writer, mother, musician and whatever else takes my fancy

Sorchia's Universe

Specializing in Bewitchment and Single Malt Scotch

Word Shamble

Ambling through life, shuffling words

Yarnspinnerr

Just Fiction and other things that seem fictitious.

Ellenbest24

words and scribble.

Deva Flute Ensemble

Friendly Flautists of Chester

An Artist's Path

A space for creative seekers.

D.B. Mauldin

Writing from my Imagination

%d bloggers like this: