Its History. Monmouth is one of the old Shire towns and is steeped in history having been the birth place (possibly the Great Tower at Monmouth Castle) of Henry V in 1387. Monmouth was also the home of Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce fame in 1887) but its history precedes these two events by a considerable margin. Our local Monmouth Archaeological Society, led by Stephen Clarke MBE have made significant finds in coins, pottery, tools and believes that the town has pre Roman origins. It is believed to have had a small fort which the Romans called Blestium. The town really became established in Norman times, when in 1067 they built Monmouth Castle, which still stands today in the shadow of Great Castle House (circa 1673) the latter currently the home of the Royal Engineers and a Regimental Museum. In about 1300, the walls around the town were built and fortified and at a similar time the bridge over the River Monnow was also fortified. That also remains in place today and is the only such bridge in Britain, with only three similar in Europe. A date also of importance was 1802 when Lord Nelson together with Lady Hamilton (and Husband) inspected the locally grown timber (for ship building) and the Navel Temple on The Kymin. As a result the Town has a commemorative Garden complete with its Summer House and a museum, named in his honour. Also worthy of a visit is the Shire Hall, originally constructed in 1724 and was used for both the assizes and quarter sessions and the Chartists were tried there in 1840 Restored several times since, it still stands today and houses the Tourist Information office
The Present. Today it is considered that Monmouth occupies an enviable position within the Lower Wye Valley, designated as An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The town is located at the point where the famous meandering Wye is joined by its tributaries Monnow and Trothy. While in the17th & 18th century it was used as a coach stop, the town having had two coaching inns. In contemporary times with the growth of road transport and the construction of the A40 which passes its periphery, it has now become very much a commuter town for industry/commerce based as far as Worcester, Hereford, Bristol, The Royal Forest of Dean, the Heads of the Valleys Area as well as Newport and Cardiff. With a high speed rail link at Newport or Bristol Parkway, it is relatively easy and quick to reach major cities. The airports of Bristol & Cardiff are just over an hours drive away, while Birmingham can be reached in about an hour and a half.
The town is very proud of its educational facilities having both a State and Private system, the latter being provided by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers with separate Boys and Girls Schools and the appropriate Junior Departments. In addition the town has a well regarded Comprehensive complete with a Leisure Centre, whilst each of the three suburbs of Overmonnow, Osbaston and Wyesham have Primary Schools. Feeder Primary schools exist at Cross Ash, Llandogo, Raglan & Trellech
Monmouth has a bustling town centre with a mix of privately owned family businesses which augment the multiples. It is generally considered that businesses have survived the recent Recession better than most. Supermarkets in and around the town include Marks & Spencer Food, Lidl, Co-operative and Waitrose together with other such nationals as Boots, Smiths, Superdrug, Fat Face, White Stuff, Joules, Iceland together with several Bookshops, Coffee Houses, Restaurants, Ladies Fashions, Hairdresser/Beauty Salons and a few small Hotels.
Whatever ones' interests or hobbies are, Monmouth caters very well, with several Theatres, one of which is also a Cinema. There are also Swimming Pools, Gyms, Rowing, Cricket, Bowls, Football and Rugby Clubs to name a few. The area is also a “Golfers Paradise” not only having an International sized Golf Course at the Rolls of Monmouth Club located at The Hendre, but the town has its own private Monmouth Course, and several others at Ross-on-Wye, Coleford, Raglan, Abergavenny, Chepstow and near Usk. For those who have Equine interests, Chepstow Racecourse is very active and of course the town supports the famous annual Monmouthshire Show held on the last Thursday of August. Other outdoor pursuits which one can participate in include Rock Climbing or Walking on the numerous footpaths which by sect this area, one of which is the Offas Dyke Footpath, there is also Canoeing and Clay Pigeon Shooting to experience in the area.
There are in addition several Churches including Roman Catholic Church in Wales, Baptist, Methodist and Non-conformists.
Finally there are numerous Leisure Groups ranging from Gwent Wildlife, Angling, Photographic, Archaeology, Choral to Amateur Dramatics.