Part 1…Raglan Castle…A look inside medieval times…

Ken set up our camera timers for this photo.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Raglan WalesFrom this site:
“Raglan (Welsh: Rhaglan) is a village and community in Monmouthshire, southeast Wales, United Kingdom. It is located some 9 miles south-west of Monmouth, midway between Monmouth and Abergavenny on the A40 road very near to the junction with the A449 road. The fame of the village derives from its castle, Raglan Castle, built for William ap Thomas and now maintained by Cadw.

The village stands at the crossing point of two Roman roads, that from Gloucester to Usk, and that from Chepstow to Abergavenny.[2] The origins of the village are unknown but Raglan was first mentioned in the will of Walter de Clare.

The earliest market in Raglan was recorded in 1354. The market cross in the town, which stands in the centre of the crossroads between the church and the Beaufort Arms Inn, consists now only of a massive base on which has been mounted a lamp post. In the large space around this stone, the markets were held, the base of the cross forming the table on which bargains were struck.

The agricultural roots of Raglan are illustrated by a 1397 account between the ‘reevem’ or reeve Ieuan Hire and Ieuan ap Grono and haywards (hedge wardens) Iorwerth ap Gwillym and Hoe ap Gwillym Goch.

The earliest records of the manor of Raglan Court are found on 26 October – 28 July 1391 during the reign of Richard II. At this time Raglan Castle was probably no more than a hill fort. After 1415 Raglan Castle was greatly expanded.

Records from 1587 refer to Raglan as a town. For the court, 13 July 1587, the marginal heading reads Burgus de Ragland cum Curia Manerii de Ragland cum membris and the caption becomes ‘The Court of William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester of his said borough and the Court of the said Earl of his said manor with members’. From 1 June 1587 onwards, most courts refer to the Borough of Ragland in the following manner: ‘The Court of the said manor with the Court of the borough or the town of Ragland’.”

Raglan Castle in Raglan Wales is quite impressive.  See the information below for details.

When we embarked on the drive to Raglan Castle, located in the village of Raglan, we were concerned, once again, that roads wouldn’t be marked and it would be easy to get lost. 

Raglan Castle wasn’t as restored as Chepstow Castle but had many fascinating features. 

A GPS signal isn’t available in most of the countryside but, of course, we saved the directions off-line, as we have all along, hoping it would be helpful.  This time we arrived at our destination without incident but we wondered why it’s been so difficult in the past.

The moat surrounding the castle is a stunning feature.

Touring the two castles, both Chepstow and Raglan Castle with Linda and Ken made the experience all the more interesting. With our collective varying perceptions, the conversation flowed as we toured each castle, often pointing our great photos ops to one another.

The Moat Walk at Raglan Castle runs around its outer edge and is thought to have been added around 1600 by the fourth Earl of Worcester.

Linda and Ken seemed more enthralled with Raglan Castle but we couldn’t decide between the two.  Each has its own special features and unique persona.  In both cases, our imaginations went wild as we toured each of the ruins.

A grand view of the moat surrounding Raglan Castle.

After our lengthy tour of Raglan Castle, which took much longer due to its massive size we headed to lunch at the Cripple Creek Pub & Restaurant where we had a lovely lunch although not quite as spectacular as the prior day at The Boat Inn in Chepstow along the River Wye.

In 1938 Henry Somerset, the 10th Duke, entrusted guardianship of Raglan Castle to the Commissioner of Works, and the castle became a permanent tourist attraction. Today, the castle is classed as a Grade I listed building and as a Scheduled Monument, administered by Cadw.

As a matter of fact, tonight, we’ll be meeting longtime friends/readers Liz and Dave at The Boat Inn for dinner (referred to as supper in this part of the world).  We’re so looking forward to them and…dining in that fantastic restaurant once again.

Tom took a rest on this two-wheeled cart.

For the information we gathered about Raglan Castle please see below.  Tomorrow, we’ll add additional information as we wrap up the two-day post.

From this site:
“The Welsh fortress-palace was transformed into a regal residence. The unmistakable silhouette of Raglan crowning a ridge amid glorious countryside is the grandest castle ever built by Welshmen.

We can thank Sir William ap Thomas, the ‘blue knight of Gwent’, for the moated Great Tower of 1435 that still dominates this mighty fortress-palace. His son Sir William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, created the gatehouse with its flared ‘machicolations’.”

Raglan Castle was at least twice the size of Chepstow Castle which we shared in the past two day’s posts.

“These stone arches allowed missiles to be rained down on attackers. But Raglan came 150 years later than the turbulent heyday of castle-building. It was designed to impress as much as to intimidate.

Under various earls of Worcester Raglan was transformed into a magnificent country seat with a fashionable long gallery and one of the finest Renaissance gardens in Britain. But loyalty to the crown was to prove its undoing.”

Note this window’s scalloped edge.

“Despite a garrison of 800 men and one of the longest sieges of the Civil War, it fell to parliamentary forces and was deliberately destroyed. Among the looted treasures was a piece of Tudor wooden panelling, now proudly displayed in the visitor centre after being rescued from a cow shed in the 1950s.

Despite Tudor and Jacobean rebuilding the Raglan Castle we see today is largely the work of one hugely ambitious man – Sir William Herbert.

In less than 10 years this country squire turned himself into arguably the most powerful Welshman of the age. He began his dazzling career fighting in France, where he was captured and ransomed, and was knighted in 1452.”

As the moat wraps around the spectacular castle.

“Having grown rich by importing Gascony wine, Herbert was made sheriff of Glamorgan and constable of Usk Castle. He played a crucial role in a decisive defeat of Lancastrian forces during the Wars of the Roses in 1461.

The grateful new king Edward IV rewarded Herbert by making him chief justice and chamberlain of south Wales – and grandly styling him Baron Herbert of Raglan. Underlining this meteoric rise young Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII was sent to Sir William to be brought up at Raglan Castle.”

Today, the sun is shining and we plan to take a walk in the neighborhood. There’s a beautiful church nearby which we’d only seen from the car in the pouring rain.  

That’s all folks.  We’ll see you again tomorrow with new photos and Raglan Castle facts.  Please check back.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 19, 2018:

“Leopards are the least social – and perhaps the most beautiful – of the African big cats. They usually keep to themselves, lurking in the dense riverine bush or around rocky koppies, emerging to hunt late in the afternoon or at night.”  For more photos please click here.

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