Royalist castle at Abergavenny
By the time of the Civil War, Abergavenny Castle was partly in ruins but became an important Royalist base. You can read about the castle’s medieval history here.
The town was occupied for the king in April 1643 by two companies of Colonel Hubert Price’s Breconshire Regiment, and then by a local regiment raised by James Prodger of Wern Ddu. Prince Rupert visited the castle in April 1645. Later that year King Charles I arrived at Abergavenny from Hereford and stayed with James Gunter at Priory House.
In November 1645, the Parliamentarian governor of Gloucester, Colonel Thomas Morgan, fought a fierce campaign in Gwent. He attacked Abergavenny at the end of November with a force of 600 men. He captured the castle and left Colonel Hopton and a small force of cavalry as a garrison. On 5 December, a force of 400 Royalist foot soldiers from Raglan and Hereford attacked the castle and killed three of Hopton’s men. They seized five leading local citizens as hostages but failed to recapture the castle.
On 24 January 1646, Lord Charles Somerset led the Raglan Horse regiment in another attack on the castle. That led to the capture of 50 prisoners but again did not overcome the Parliamentarian forces. In August 1646, Raglan Castle surrendered and the Royalist cause in Monmouthshire crumbled. On 3 March 1647, the House of Commons gave orders for Abergavenny Castle to be “disgarrisoned and made indefensible”. This destruction left the ruin you see today. Stone from the castle was later used for building elsewhere in Abergavenny.
In 1819, a hunting lodge was built on the motte for the Marquis of Abergavenny. Today it houses the Abergavenny Museum.
With thanks to Gill Wakley, of Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5EE View Location Map