Castles of Wales Paper
Chepstow which is a Norman castle was constructed beginning in 1067.This was less than a year after the new king, William the Conqueror, was crowned.
It was built high over the river Wye in Southeast Wales.
The Norman's weren't thefirst to realize the strategic value of this position.We know this because the arch above the main doorway into the hall was built by bricks taken from a Roman fort that used to stand close by.
This position was an advantage partly because it allowed allies to bring supplies to the castle during times of battle and siege.They brought these supplies through the river.
All through the Middle Ages Chepstow remained the center of the military and also administrative power.In Strigoil's Marcher lordship.
Chepstow was built by William fitz-Osbern, a loyal Norman Lord.
A few months after the battle of Hastings in 1066 William fitz-Osbern then lord of Breteuil in Normandy was created earl of Hereford by William the Conqueror. He was stuck with the job of subduing the southern Welsh borderlands.
Before his death in 1071 he had completed the rectangular keep.This is the earliest dateable secular stone structure in Britain.
Fortresses built by fitz-Osbern were the vehicles that the new king used to obtain control over his newly conquered lands.Chepstow became the main launching point for journey's that over time quieted the rebellious people.
Chepstow's Great Hall, which was started in 1067, is the oldest surviving stone fortification in Britain because of this and some other facts its important to Britain's history.Other castles built at this time have been long gone, but here at Chepstow it is possible to see and feel the remains.
Inside the Great Hall men with considerable power planned strategies with other Welsh Marcher Lords.They mapped out invasions to gain control of the country that was still ruled by groups of powerful Princes.