- Raglan, Monmouthshire
infobox UK place
country = Wales
postcode_district = NP15
population= c. 2,000 , United Kingdom.
Raglan is situated some nine miles south-west of Monmouth, midway between
Monmouthand Abergavennyon the A40 roadvery near to the junction with the A449 road.
The fame of the village derives from its large
castle, Raglan Castle, built for William ap Thomas, and now a magnificent 15th century ruin maintained by Cadw. The origins of the village are unknown but Raglan was first mentioned in the will of Walter de Clare1279-88 . [Bradney, Joseph. A History of Monmouthshire, Vol 2 part 1: The Hundred of Raglan. pub 1914, reprint 1992]
The earliest market in Raglan was recorded in 1354. ['Wales', Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 (2005). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=40533. Date accessed: 24 March 2007.] The
market crossin the town, which stands in the centre of the cross roads between the church and the Beaufort Arms Inn, consists now only of a massive base on which has been mounted a lamp post. In the large space around this stone the markets were held, the base of the cross doubtless forming the table on which bargains were struck. [Bradney, Joseph. A History of Monmouthshire, Vol 2 part 1: The Hundred of Raglan. pub 1914, reprint 1992]
The agricultural roots of Raglan are illustrated by a 1397 account between the ‘reevem’ or reeve Ieuan Hire and Ieuan ap Grono and haywards (hedge wardens) Iorwerth ap Gwillym and Hoe ap Gwillym Goch. [ Badminton records: No. 1,573. Michaelmas, 21 Richard II to Michaelmas, 22 Richard II (1397 to 1398.
National Library of Wales. ]
Cadoc's is a substantial mediaeval church, extensively restored in the 19th century by Thomas Henry Wyatt. It houses some much-defaced tombs of the Lords of Raglan. The base of a fine pilgrim's cross can be seen in the churchyard. The first part of St Cadoc's church was built in Raglan during the 14th century. The earliest records of the manorof Raglan Court are found in 26 October – 28 July 1391 during the reign of Richard II. [ Bad1am3.doc National Library of Wales. ] At this time Raglan Castle was probably no more than a hill fort. After 1415 Raglan Castle was expanded from a small fort to the substantial castle that we see today.
It wasn’t until 1587 that Raglan was referred to as a town. For the court, 13 July 1587, the marginal heading reads " _la. Burgus de Ragland cum Curia Manerii de Ragland cum membris" and the caption becomes 'The Court of
William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcesterof his said borough and the Court of the said Earl of his said manor with members'. From 1 June 1587 onwards most courts refer to the Borough of Ragland in the following manner: 'The Court of the said manor with the Court of the borough or the town of Ragland'. [ Badminton Records. 13 Oct. 1587 (MS 8); MS 7 National Library of Wales. ]
By 1632, a Court House was established in Raglan. 'The jury to meet at the Court House at Ragland the 25th March next by ten of the clock under peyn of xls. apeece to have a view and inquire of lands in Landenny (
Llandenny) and Ragland late of Philip David Morris', (Dec. 1632). [ Badminton Records. 13 Oct. 1587 (MS 8); MS 7 National Library of Wales. ]
English Civil Warhad disastrous consequences both for Raglan Castle as well as for Raglan village. Raglan Castle was besieged for two months from 3 June to 19 August 1646 by a strong force of Parliamentarians. The Castle finally surrendered to Thomas Morgan, when Sir Thomas Fairfaxarrived with 3,500 men and six deadly mortars. ‘The house almost starved … had like to have eaten one another’ was the report and the Parliamentarians called in the local people to help demolish the Marquess's home. [ Kinross, John, Discovering Castles in England and Wales, Shire Pub. Ltd, 1973]
The link between castle and village was severed. The castle ruins became neglected and were used as a quarry for those needing stone to repair their houses: dressed and moulded stones can be seen in farmhouses and cottages in the area. Subsequent leet courts refer to the liberty of Raglan and in 1682 the hundred of Ragland is mentioned. Court Roll excerpts reflect the growing issues of the day: In 1680, ‘The bridge called Pontleecke upon the highway leading from Raglan towards Chepstow to be out of repair. Moses Morgan fined for not spending 14s of the parish money towards repairing the
stocksand whipping post in the parish of Raglan’. In 1695 the repair of bridges are still under discussion, ‘The bridge called Pont y bonehouse in the town of Raglan, 1695. John Curre, gent., steward’. [ Court Roll, 4 August, 1716, National Library of Wales]
Over the past 350 years, the castle continues to dominate the village serving as a draw to tourists by coach, train and automobile. Prior to
Cadw, the Duke of Beaufortwas the hereditary keeper of the castle while generations of Wardens lived either next to the castle or in the village of Raglan.
The village continued to be an important thoroughfare in the 18th and 19th centuries, which explains its three substantial
coaching inns, the Beaufort Arms, the Ship and the Crown where the Mail coaches would stop.
* [http://www.raglanvillage.co.uk/ Raglan Village]
* [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wlsrdlhg/ Raglan Village Local History]
* [http://www.francisfrith.com/search/wales/gwent/raglan/photos/raglan_photos.htm Old photos of Raglan]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3027534 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Raglan and surrounding area]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/item.php?lang=en&id=14493&t=1 A 15th century gold signet ring found at Raglan and held on Gathering the Jewels the website for Welsh cultural history]
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