The Romans invaded Gwent through Monmouth and later established a fort here. There was a Welsh settlement here before the Normans came, probably in the lower part of the town. Recent archaeological excavations in advance of commercial development have added a lot to our understanding of medieval Monmouth: it is a pity that the sites have now been built over. But we can still look at the Norman castle and the seventeenth-century Great Castle House, the church on the site of the Benedictine priory and the narrow medieval streets. The Monnow bridge south of the town is a rare and attractive example of a fortified gateway on a bridge. On the other side of the Monnow is St Thomas’s Church with its elaborate Norman door.
Famous inhabitants have included the historian Geoffrey of Monmouth and Henry V, born at the castle in 1387. Lord Nelson visited the town with Sir William and Lady Hamilton when he was inspecting the woods of south Wales looking for timber for shipbuilding. The Market Hall in Priory Street houses a museum devoted mainly to Nelson memorabilia. John Frost and the other Newport chartists were tried at the Shire Hall in 1838 and sentenced to death for the crime of asking for votes for all and payment for MPs - though their sentence was eventually commuted to transportation to Australia. A statue in Agincourt Square commemorates C. S. Rolls, one of the founders of Rolls-Royce.
Plenty of places to stay, from hotels to guest houses, plenty of places to eat and pick up supplies. Bus services to Abergavenny, Hereford and Chepstow (all linking to train lines).