Former Market Tavern, Agincourt Square, Monmouth
This former inn’s curving frontage relates to construction of Priory Street in the 1830s to enable traffic to bypass older streets. The new road turned westwards from here and continued on a new structure which housed the Shambles (slaughterhouses and butchers’ shops) below.
The Crown and Thistle Inn (not to be confused with the Crown Inn in St Mary Street) was demolished for construction of the road in this vicinity. The new buildings followed the curvature of the road. They included the Market Tavern, seen on the right in the postcard photo from the early 20th century.
In 1840 a customer named William Brown, aged c.30 years, drank a large amount of rum here with a friend. They’d already drunk ale elsewhere. William collapsed in the streets and died that evening in the police station from “excessive drinking”.
In 1897 Monmouth Town Council entered into an agreement that John Thomas of the Market Tavern would always have at least two horses ready to convey the town’s fire engines to any fire outside the town. This followed problems with borrowing horses in emergency from Monmouth’s many horse owners.
Later the Market Tavern’s landlord was Dominico Gardiner, born in Monmouth in 1840. He was charged with “unlawfully and maliciously wounding” his wife, Kate Eliza, in 1903. In court, she admitted that a militiaman had been hiding under her bed when Domenico entered her room at 7am on 13 July. Two witnesses said they’d seen him emerge from the dining room with a knife later that day and stab his wife. A doctor said there was a shallow stab wound over her breastbone.
Kate’s brother, William Baldwin, agreed to provide a £50 surety so that Dominico was released from prison on bail pending trial at the autumn assizes. Dominico absconded. A warrant for his arrest was issued but he was never found. At the January 1904 assizes, William’s wife pleaded with the authorities that they were too poor to lose £50. In April the amount was reduced to £25, which the couple paid.
The Market Tavern closed in the 1970s and became offices. It is now owned by Leedam Natural Burial Grounds.
Postcode: NP25 3BT View Location Map