dear DMJ. Sorry that Monmouth disappointed you. Living here, I love it - not touristy pretentious, but straightforward and unassuming, with interesting features to be found and explored just below the surface. And I can't let pass the idea that there isn't an old fashioned tea shop here. On current count, there are 12. And that's not counting the pubs and restaurants... Come again and have another look!
1 review of Monnow Bridge in English
I always think Monmouth disappoints, slightly. It has all the credentials of somewhere fascinating: it's an ancient market town with a Roman foundation, and as a border garrison between the English and Welsh, was endowed with a fine castle. It remained prosperous throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and is now a major tourist centre.
But little remains of the castle (notable as the birthplace of Henry V), and even the Georgian buildings seem a little shabby. There isn't even an old-fashioned tea-shop for a good Welsh tea. The ancient priory church was thoroughly restored by the Victorians and, though impressive, doesn't excite the interest either.
What has survived, however, is the Monnow bridge, the UK's finest 13th century town fortification of its kind. Thankfully now by-passed, it was intended to defend the town from incursions by the Welsh, and was provided with a portcullis and gate. In this, it was only partially successful, as the River Monnow is narrow and shallow, and is easily forded nearby. But like most gatehouses, its was equally important as a means to collect taxes and control the passage of visitors into the town. Although much altered (again by the Victorians), it remains an evocative symbol of an earlier period.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Suep, 29 January 2010:
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