Caldicot Castle is 2 miles from the sea but stands upon a fortified site of great Antiquity, on the site of the Roman road 'Via Julia' which ran to Caerwent.
It's Lords can be traced all the way back to Norman times with the tower probably being built by Humphrey de Bohun during the latter half of the 12th C.at which time the castle would have been surrounded by a moat that was fed from the nearby Nedern Brook.
It's original gateway stands on it's west end, the great gateway on it's south side was built during the 14th C by Thomas Woodstock (the sixth son of Edward III) it'
s strong flanking turrets have been much restored and extended and the now mutilated sculptured heads upon the entrances vaulting and staircase are supposed to be portraits of real people.
The castles curtain wall has horseshoe towers at the east and west corners. The round headed doorway in the west tower may be the oldest masonry remaining.
The castles keep stands on a mound in it's north corner.
It was restored for use as a family home in the 1880's
The Castle has been the scene of many plots and a fare share of intrigue over it's long history but now hosts very popular banquets in it's fantastic great hall.or just for people who want to wonder around it's surrounding wooded country park.
There is a nice shop with very friendly and extremely helpfull staff and a nice cafe serves drinks and snacks.
Caldicot Castle is Open daily from 1st April (or Easter, whichever is earlier) to the 31st October inclusive from 11:00am to 5:00pm.
Adults - £3.75, Children aged 5-17 and Senior Citizens, Students - £2.50
Disabled Visitors - £2.50 (enabler free), Family's of 2+3 - £12.00
Free to Monmouthshire Residents on production of a museum pass
The Church dates from the 12th C although most of what remains is from the 14th and 15th centuries and was founded by Milo Fitzwalter on the site of an earlier Church that was dedicated to St Bride
Caerwent was once a very important town in Roman Britain and to this day much of the Roman town wall remain intact and a large amount of remains have been discovered within this area including those of a Basilica and a Temple. In Roman times it's name was Venta Silurum, called after the local Silures tribe that the Romans defeated and the nearby legionary fortress of Caerleon was established by the Romans in order to keep watch over the whole area.
you can now walk around the town and explore the walls and ruins of both Old and New Caerwent, you can call in to the visitors centre for some valuble information and for a map of the area, there are free guide tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Visit my Main Caerwent Page
Magor Motorway Services Area, Caldicot, Monmouthsh
Opposite the church is the Castle Inn, a nice pub that serves good beer and really nice looking meals. The staff are friendly and helpful we called in for a drink after looking around the castle but did not eat here although it is definitely on the list for a future visit
After a visit to Chepstow we stopped off at the Rock And Fountain on the A48 at Penhow for something to eat but it was closed.
Behind it is the Indian Cottage so we went there and we were not Disapointed.
The Indian Cottage is a great restaurant that serves fantastic food in a lovely old building. It is a cross shaped building with a high roof. There is a large open fire and some lovely lighting that really makes the building look good
I had a Lamb Tika Chilli Masala (Vindaloo hot)and Vicki had a Lamb Tikka Masala. we had popadoms to start and had Pilau rice and a Garlic Nann with our meal. The food was really really good and i would recomend it to anybody.
The Indian Cottage is a little gem of a place. We walked into the restaurant on a cold rainy March evening to be confronted with a huge roaring fire in the waiting area. The building appears to have been converted from a barn given the extremely high ceilings, stone walls and wonderful beams and roof trusses. The colourful lighting and fairytale windows give you the impression you are a guest at a banquet in Chepstow Castle.
The food and service were second to none. We had poppadoms to start and then I had Lamb tikka Massala and Gareth had Lamb chilli tikka massala, both with Pilau rice and a naan bread. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the food was absolutely delicious. Gareth asked for his curry to be made hot - I had a little taste, they certainly made it to his liking!!
I can't wait to go back here again!
Favorite Dish: Lamb tikka massala
The parish church of St. John the Baptist is next to the castle in Penhow. The original Church tower could be the same date as the early parts of the Castle, and was completed in 1290 and dedicated to the Abbot of St. Maur in France, the home of the St. Maur (Seymour) family. Following the reformation the Church was rededicated to St. John the Baptist.
As for the Castle, park in the layby near the Rock and Fountain Inn of the M48 and take the narrow lane up towards the church.
Penhow has claims to be the oldest inhabited castle in Wales. It was built as a home for Sir Roger de Sancto Mauro, one of the Norman knights who served the Norman Lord of Striguil at Chepstow Castle. He built a tower house, and documentary evidence shows that he was at Penhow by 1129.
It was the first British home of the family who would later rise to national prominence under the more familiar name of Seymour. Later the Seymour family sold Penhow Castle to the Lewis family of St. Pierre, who converted the castle to a modern residence in 1674. Thomas Lewis' son Thomas was High Sheriff of the county, and married the daughter of Sir Richard Levett, Lord Mayor of London. The Lewis' retained ownership of Penhow Castle for several centuries.
The Castle has a reputation for being haunted. It was open to the public between 1978 and 2002.
You can drive up the small Country lane which leads to Penhow Castle but parking is limited. We parked in a layby on the A48 (Near the Rock and Fountain Inn). The footpath leading to the Castle goes past some lovely old farm buildings and of course you are surrounded by the gorgeous Welsh countryside.