What amazed me most about Chepstow Castle was that it just keeps going and going. You think you’ve reached the end, then you pass under another archway and there’s yet more castle to explore. Not that I’m complaining, as far as I’m concerned you can never have too much castle.
Situated in the market town of Chepstow in south east Wales, the castle sits high on a cliff overlooking the River Wye, as well as the English county of Gloucestershire on the other side of the river. The castle was begun in 1067, soon after the Norman invasion of England, and work continued on and off until 1690, which explains the never-ending nature of the fortress.
As successive families and generations took over the running of the castle, they added additional buildings and features, expanding it length-ways along the edge of the cliff. Approaching the castle from the town, it doesn’t look that big, it’s only when you go inside or look at it from the Gloucestershire side of the river that you realise quite how far it stretches.
The oldest part of the castle is the Great Tower (above, right), which is one of the earliest stone defensive structures in Britain. It also features some unusual decorative touches, including the coloured criss-cross plaster effect you can see in the stone archways (above, left).
The castle was fascinating and there was loads to see. I really enjoyed wandering around and finding yet more towers, staircases, rooms and various other nooks and crannies to explore. It’s a deceptively delightful Welsh castle and is now firmly on my list of top Welsh castles.
Chepstow Castle, Chepstow NP16 5EY
£6 Adults, £4.20 Concessions