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Newport Castle

Visited October 2023

Location Newport, Monmouthshire
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Yes- Newport
Parking City Car Parks
Facilities City Centre Facilities
Map

 

The scant ruins of a once large castle built onto the banks of the River Usk, which was used as an administrative base for the local area. It was once owned by Jasper Tudor, uncle of Henry VII, but was never involved in any military action.

 


 

 


Review

 

I have always put off visiting this castle, not because I wasn't interested but because I didn't really want to see for myself the sorry state it has been allowed to fall into. But travelling to Newport for another purpose left us with some time to kill, and walking around the centre of the town meant we couldn't really avoid it.

 

The best view is across the river from the Town Bridge, and this gives an idea of just how ruinous the castle is today. It once had three high towers on the river -facing side, there are still three there today but they are much reduced in height. The middle tower has the remains of a water gate below it.  This was used to bring in supplies, and would once have had a portcullis, but now it has been bricked off.

 

 


 

 


 

Worse has been done to the Western side of the ruins, they were completely demolished in the early 1970s and a major road constructed which completely cut off the remaining part of the castle and left it stranded between the river and the traffic on the B4591. Not surprisingly it was no longer a popular spot to visit anymore, with difficult access necessitating the crossing of a busy road, and then just a small strip of land containing the one surviving piece of walling and towers to visit once you were there.

 

It slowly became less and less salubrious, which unfortunately is how I would describe it today. There is a lot of litter and broken glass surrounding the one part of the site you can see, and the castle is now cordoned off behind railings, so all you can do is look at the exterior. It seems hard to comprehend why this castle has become the victim of such terrible town planning.

 


 

 


 

There are a few signs of its former splendour though, some decorative window frames, buttressing on the towers and of course the remains of the water gate. There is also a small model of how the castle once looked, which is interesting as it shows exactly how much has been lost and how little is remaining.

 

The walk along the river as far as the Town Bridge is quite pleasant on a fine day, with the large Steel Wave sculpture en route to the castle. But please take care on the roads if you decide to take your children here. It is a shame to say it but I wouldn't actually recommend bringing children here as it is not really safe. There are so many better castles to visit in Wales. I can only hope that at some point the authorities will realise what a wasted heritage asset this is and do something to make it a pleasant place to visit once more. 

 


 

 

More info:  CADW Newport Castle

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