Monmouthshire NP25
This county town of Monmouthshire grew up around a Norman castle built after 1067. It is situated where the River Monnow meets the River Wye, within 2 miles (3.2 km) of the border with England.
Monmouth is famous for a number of reasons. Apart from being the place where this writer went to boarding school, its mediaeval stone gated bridge is the only one of its type remaining in Britain. The castle later came into the possession of the House of Lancaster, and was the birthplace of King Henry V in 1387. In 1536, it became the county town of Monmouthshire.
The town is also associated with Admiral Horatio Nelson and Charles Stuart Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame. The Monmouth Museum has some fine exhibits about these two gentlemen.
Monmouth went quietly about its business of being a market town and centre for Wye Valley tourism until 1966 when the new A40 road bypassed the town and connected it to the motorway system. These improved communications contributed to the development of the town, with suburbs extending beyond the rivers Wye and Monnow to the south-east, west and north of the old town centre.
The town is now a busy shopping and service centre, and the focus of educational and cultural activities for its surrounding rural area.
Theatre & Cinema
Monmouth's Savoy Theatre is a small traditional theatre and cinema on Church Street, and is believed to be the oldest working theatre in Wales. The town is also home to the Blake Theatre, which opened in 2004. Local performance groups include the Off Centre Theatre Company, Monmouth Operatic Society, Monmouth Choral Society, and the Merlin Society, one of the largest music societies in the country.
There are numerous public houses in the town, including the Old Nags Head, the Queen's Head, the King's Head, the Three Horseshoes, the Robin Hood Inn, the Green Dragon, the Royal Oak and the Gatehouse. Some of these public houses have excellent restaurants serving tasty and reasonably priced food.
Welsh Language
Despite being so close to the English border, the Welsh language and culture are actively promoted in the area under the auspices of the Monmouth & District Welsh Society (Cymdeithas Gymraeg Trefynwy a'r Cylch).
Festivals & Shows
There is always something going on in Monmouth from regattas on the river to music festivals. An annual regatta is held, each May, and a raft race takes place each year for the St David's Foundation.
One of the largest free music festivals in Europe is the Monmouth Festival. This nine-day event also includes Carnival Sunday. Each year the town holds the Monmouth Women's Festival in March, and Rockfield Country Music Festival the first weekend in June.
The Monmouthshire Show is the largest one-day agricultural show in Wales, taking place annually in Monmouth on the first Saturday in July.
Parks & Gardens
Unlike most towns Monmouth does not have any large green spaces but it does have a charming reminder of Admiral Horatio Nelson - The Nelson Garden.
Historic Walk
Monmouth has a Blue Plaque Heritage Trail incorporating 24 historic and interesting buildings. Each plaque affixed to the building has a tactile brief description in Welsh and English and is coloured with a blue glaze. A map of the route and list of the buildings can be found on  Web:  Heritage Trails at Monmouth
Monmouth has a Football Club playing in the Welsh Football League. It also has a leisure centre on the site of the comprehensive school, with a 20m x 10m swimming pool. There is an 18-hole golf course on the edge of the town, as well as the Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club at The Hendre. Monmouth is also home to Monmouth Rowing Club, taking advantage of the River Wye. There are also cricket, bowls and rugby clubs.
Getting There
The town is 36 miles (58 km) northeast of Cardiff, and 127 miles (204 km) west of London.
- By Car
Monmouth is located beside the A40 dual carriageway road that links the M4 motorway at Newport in South Wales with the M50 motorway at Ross-on-Wye; this connects in turn with the M5 motorway south of Worcester in the West Midlands.
The A40 road has been re-located south of the town and now passes through a short tunnel beneath Gibraltar Hill; to the north east of the town, it follows the line of the Wye valley. The town is linked to Chepstow in the south and Hereford in the north by the A466 road.
- By Bus
Regular bus services run between Monmouth and Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Coleford, Chepstow, Newport and Abergavenny.

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