Chartist Places to Visit in Gwent

There are plenty of interesting Chartist places  to visit in Gwent which are within a 20 mile radius of Newport.  The main Chartist sites are the Westgate Hotel and Chartist sculptures in Commercial Street, Newport;  Ye Old Murrenger House pub in High Street, Newport Museum in John Frost Square, St Woolos Cathedral and Stow Hill, Shirehall Monmouth, Big Pit and Blaenavon Ironworks.  But there are many other Chartist sites to visit too.

 

Chartist Places to Visit in Gwent

BLAENAVON

Site Name:        Blaenavon Community Museum

Workmans Hall, Blaenavon

01495 790991

www.facebook.com/blaenavonmuseum/

Description:      Community Museum , with special ref to work of Alexander Cordell who wrote about Chartist March in Rape of the Fair Country

Reasons to visit:           Reference material and artefacts relating to Cordell

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        St Peter’s School, Blaenavon (World Heritage Centre)

Church Rd, Blaenavon NP4 9AS

01495 742333

www.visitblaenavon.co.uk/en/Homepage.aspx

Description:      First school in Wales built by employer for employees children – being redeveloped as the World Heritage Site Centre

Reasons to visit:           Local folklore has it that Redcoats were housed at the School during Chartist uprising

Easting:            325070  Northing:          208823

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

TREDEGAR

Site Name:        Bedwellty House and Park

Tredegar

01495 353370

bedwelltyhouse@aneurinleisure.org.uk

www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk/

Description:      Home of the Homfray Family – ironmasters. Also contains historic paintings and photos – including of  Ieuan Gwynedd, Rev. Evan Jones, preacher, poet, writer at Saron Chapel Tredegar 1845-7 (he was heavily involved in the after effects of the Blue Books). There is also a copy of the Chartist Broadsheet published on the 12th August 1839.

Reasons to visit:           Landowners site – redevelopment in near future – one of best – surviving examples of ironmasters home in area

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Park and House

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Dukestown – Star Field (Twyn Star)

www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3613034

Description:      Great rally held at Dukestown by the Chartists of Monmouthshire. 10,000 attended, held on Star Field (Twyn Star) and important decisions were taken. Dr William Price (Chair), John Frost (speaker) August 1839 – detailed in Chartist broadsheet in Bedwelty House.

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            313899  Northing:          210654

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        The Star Inn, Dukestown, Tredegar

Description:      Believed by some to be the Head quarters of the Chartists in Dukestown. Two great rallies were held on the field adjacent on st May and 12th August 1839. A picture of the pub is on display at Bedwellty House.

Reasons to visit:           Historical site

Easting:            313899  Northing:          210654

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Chartist’s cave, near Duke’s Inn, Dukestown

www.ogof.org.uk/chartists-cave.html

Description:      Believed to be the site where Chartists manufactured pikes and other weapons prior to the march – but also believed by some to be where Chartists tortured those who did not wish to join the movement.

Reasons to visit: A natural cave that has not changed since used by the Chartists

Easting:            311881  Northing:          213945

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

MONMOUTH

Site Name:        Shirehall, Monmouth

Agincourt Square, Monmouth

Reason to Visit:                        Site of the Trial of Chartist prisoners

Able to see insode:       Yes

Open all Year:               Yes

 

Site Name:        The Beaufort ArmsHotel, Monmouth (old)

Agincourt Square, Monmouth

Description:      Old doorways to Courtrooms of Shire Hall, from adjacent hotel where judges stayed.

Reasons to visit:           Viewing exterior only former hotel where judges stayed

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:    N/a

 

Site Name:        Dingestow Court

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingestow_Court

Description:      Gentry home of Bosenquets, landowners etc and jurors

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            345000  Northing:          209676

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:    No

 

ABERTILLERY

Site Name:        Abertillery Museum

Market St, Abertillery NP13 1AH

01495 211140

www.abertilleryanddistrictmuseum.org.uk/

Description:      Chartist memorabilia

Reasons to visit:           Percussion cap pistol carried by a Chartist on march, handed down through the family and then to Museum

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Yes  Open all year:        Yes

 

MONMOUTH

Site Name:        Monmouth Gaol

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monmouth_County_Gaol

Description:      Surviving gatehouse of former gaol where Chartists were held. On Hereford Road. Flat roof where executions took place.

Reasons to visit:           Viewing exterior only, gatehouse to gaol where Frost and Vincent were imprisoned. Stained glass window remains.

Easting:            351006

Northing:           213767

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Monmouth Museum

Priory Street, Monmouth, NP25 3XA

http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/monmouth-museum

Description:      Reference collection with Chartist links in Local History Centre. Collection includes J S Rolls drawings/contemporary transcript of the trail

Reasons to visit:           J S Rolls sketches of defendants, prints of Trial inside courtroom. Newspaper accounts of Chartist Trial from Merlin and Beacon on micro fiche and print., Transcript of Trial Account, past exhibition material

Only see the outside:     No

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Monmouth pubs and hotels

Description:      Places where judges/ press stayed in Monmouth during the trial

Reasons to visit:           Monmouth as it was in 1840

Only see the outside:     Mainly

Yes Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Shire Hall, Monmouth

3 Agincourt Square, Monmouth NP25 3EA

01600 775257

shirehallmonmouth.org.uk/

Description:      Location of Chartist trial – that continued to be used as a County Court until 1995. The Shire Hall Stewards (volunteers) take tours of the Court room and Shire Hall building – and there are plans to create an exciting new exhibition.

Reasons to visit:           Significant, atmospheric site – with the courtroom looking as it did in 1839 (with the original furniture). There as also rooms that give an interesting insight to the operation of the court – such as the judges robing and bathroom, there office where sen

Easting:            350801  Northing:          212866

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Site of Charles Heath’s printers

Description:      Site of printers in Monmouth, now a shop – Ruby Tuesday

Reasons to visit:           Charles Heath was local printer who wrote about the Chartists – part of the Information Revolution of the time

Easting:            350828  Northing:          212929

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside: Can visit the restaurant

Open all year:

  

NANTYGLO

Site Name:        Nantyglo Round House Towers

www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/visitors/attractions/nantyglo-roundhouses/

Description:      Defensive Towers built by ironmaster Crawshay Bailey

Reasons to visit:           Viewing exterior only of last castle type fortification built in Britain in 1816

Easting:            318977  Northing:          210219

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside: No, viewed from distance only

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Former – The Royal Oak, Nantyglo

Description:      Site of pub run by Chartist Leader Zephaniah Williams

Reasons to visit:           Plaque on exterior of building – now private home

Easting:            319604

Northing:           210019

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Ty Mawr, Nantyglo

Description:      Ruins of Crawshay Bailey’s home

Reasons to visit: Exterior view of what was an impressive landowner’s home

Easting:            319012  Northing:          210154

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        West Mon Golf Club

Golf Rd, Nantyglo, Ebbw Vale NP23 4QT

01495 310233

www.westmongolfclub.co.uk/

Description:      Area where Chartist’s gathered for the march on Newport

Reasons to visit:           Highest golf course in UK, this site was a favoured meeting place for Chartists from the Ebbw Fawr /Fach valleys.

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:    Yes

 

BLAINA

Site Name:        Salem Chapel, Blaina

access2heritagebg.co.uk/heritage-organisations/chartist-information-and-exhibition-centre

Description:      Chapel with Chartism exhibition/ plans for visitor centre – a flexible space for concerts and lectures, and it will be a cultural centre for the town.

Reasons to visit:           Currently being developed as small Chartism Visitor Centre by local community, town council, church. Exhibition panels, film, lectures. Plans to develop annex as replica of the Royal Oak pub of Zephaniah Williams.

Only see the outside:     No

Able to visit inside:        Open Tuesdays and Sat

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Blaina Heritage Action Group

Blaina Institute, High Street, Blaina, NP13 3BN

blainaheritagemuseum@talktalk.net

01495 292025

www.blaina.moonfruit.com/

Description:      Documents and images relating to Chartism

Reasons to visit:           More information needed

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

 

ABERGAVENNY

Site Name:        Llanellen Church yard

Church Lane, Llanellen, ABERGAVENNY NP7 9HP

Description:      Grave of Sir Thomas Philips, Mayor of Newport in 1839

Reasons to visit:           Viewing of grave on part of trail, hero or villain? Knighted by Queen, presented with silver platter by grateful city – portrait painted, etc.

Easting:            330332  Northing:          210908

Only see the outside:     Yes

 

 

PONTYPOOL

Site Name:        Pontypool House and Park

Description:      Home of the Hanbury family – one of the early entrepreneurial families. Capel Hanbury Leigh was involved in increasing the tension when he refused to employ known chartists, and he was also involved in purchasing firearms to defend the area during the summer months of 1839.

Reasons to visit:           Historical site

Easting:            328303  Northing:          200959

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Pontypool Museum

Park Buildings, Park Rd, Pontypool NP4 6JH

01495 752036

pontypoolmuseum.org.uk/

Description:      Located in the Grade II* Stable Block of Pontypool House, former home of the Hanbury Family. There are displays on the industrial heritage and people of Torfaen.

Only see the outside:     No

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

 

USK

Site Name:        Sessions House, Usk  (Maryport Street)

Description:      Wonderfully preserved Court Room, magistrates rooms, and legal library of 3000+ books. Also, Trials of Wright Beatty and Richard Rorke the younger held here 7 April 1840 in original Sessions at Market Hall.

Reasons to visit:           Links to theme of justice, and future – Viscountess Rhondda and the suffragette movement. Also other Chartist prisoners tried at Michelmas Quarter Sessions, Usk 19th November 1840.

Easting:            337830  Northing:          200546

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

ARGOED

Site Name:        Argoed, nr Blackwood

Description:      Believed to be Birthplace of Zephaniah Williams in 1795

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            317709  Northing:          199772

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

BRYNMAWR

Site Name:        Brynmawr Museum

Carnegie Library, Market Square, Brynmawr

01495 313900

www.brynmawrmuseum.co.uk/

Description:      Chartist meeting point sign from Beaufort/ Brynmawr boundary

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside: Yes – check for opening times.

Open all year:    Yes

 

 

Site Name:        King Crispin Pub, Brynmawr

Description:      Pub of local Chartist leader David Lewis

Reasons to visit:           Former pub in Hatter Street – exterior viewing only?

Easting:            319125

Northing:           211709

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

 

BLACKWOOD

Site Name:        Coach & Horses, Blackwood

your.caerphilly.gov.uk/blackwoodtc/content/local-history

Description:      A former public house that was used as a Chartist meeting place

Reasons to visit:           Site of many chartist meetings

VisitWales Category:     Excursions/sightseeing/attractions

VisitWales Sub Category:          Heritage

Easting:            317363  Northing:          197128

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Chartist’s Bridge and Sculpture, Blackwood

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwood,_Caerphilly

Description:      Road bridge and sculpture

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:    Yes

 

CWMBRAN

Site Name:        The Greenhouse, Cwmbran

Newport Rd, Llantarnam, Cwmbran NP44 3BP

01633 866911

www.sabrain.com/pubs-and-hotels/south-wales/newport-torfaen/greenhouse-new/

Description:      Public house where the Chartist Marchers from Pontypool stopped on the way to Newport.

Reasons to visit:           Old coaching house

Easting:            330652  Northing:          193138

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes – visit the pub

Open all year:    Yes

 

NEW TREDEGAR

Site Name:        Winding House, New Tredegar

Cross Street, New Tredegar NP24 6EG

01443 822 666
windinghouse@caerphilly.gov.uk

your.caerphilly.gov.uk/windinghouse/content/welcome

Description:      Museum of the people and history of the Caerphilly area – currently being redeveloped.

Reasons to visit:           Community Museum – which highlights the story of the local Chartist movement

Only see the outside:     No

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

EBBW VALE

Site Name:        Gwent Archives

Steelworks Road,  Ebbw Vale  NP23 6AA

01495 353363

enquiries@gwentarchives.gov.uk

www.gwentarchives.gov.uk/

Description:      Archive for local history material, maps, documents, images relating to former Gwent area.

Reasons to visit:           Specialist resource for educational purposes

VisitWales Category:

VisitWales Sub Category:

Easting:            330805

Northing:           195475

Only see the outside:     No

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

CHEPSTOW

Site Name:        John Frost Transportation Plaque – Wye Knot Restaurant, Chepstow

18a The Back, Chepstow

Description:      Blue plaque commemorating the location in Chepstow where John Frost was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (now know as Tasmania) in 1840 on the steamer “Usk”.

Reasons to visit:           Plaque on exterior of building on riverfront walk

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside: No

Open all year:

 

Site Name: Chepstow Museum

Bridge Street,Chepstow, NP16 5EZ

www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/chepstow-museum

Description:      Some Chartists material inc letter written by youth to his parents in Chepstow the night before his trial in Monmouth

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

  

NEWPORT

Site Name:        Chartist Sculptures, Newport

vanderkrogt.net/statues/object.php?webpage=ST&record=gbwa007

Description:      Positioned outside the Westgate Hotel building, the sculpture commemorates the Chartist uprising of 1839, when twenty Chartists lost their lives. Created by Christopher Kelly in 1991.

Reasons to visit:           Creative interpretation

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Stow Hill, Newport

Description:                  The final part of the route taken by Chartists to Westgate Hotel.

Reasons to visit:           Trail retracing march on Newport.

VisitWales Category:     Excursions/sightseeing/attractions

VisitWales Sub Category:          Heritage

Easting:            330884  Northing:          187599

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:                Yes

 

Site Name:        St Woolos Cathedral

103 Stow Hill, Newport NP20 4EA

www.newportcathedral.org.uk/index.php?id=23

Description:      Burial Register details Ten men names unknown, shot by a party of the 45th Regiment of Foot in a Chartist insurrection before the Westgate Hotel. There are 10 unmarked graves of Chartist in the Churchyard.

Reasons to visit:           Each November 4th a simple ceremony is held in the Churchyard to commemorate the Chartists that died.

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Newport Workhouse

Description:      Location where wounded Chartists were treated and also where the soldiers had been barracked.

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            331008  Northing:          187793

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        St Marys RC Church, Stow Hill, Newport

Description:      The Church was still being built when the Chartist March took place – and folklore says that Chartists hid behind the altar.

Reasons to visit:           Chartists fled through the Church following the attack on the Westgate next door.

Easting:            331051 Northing:           188050

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:                    Friars House, Friars Road, Newport

Description:                  19th Century Mansion belonging to Lord Tredegar

Reason to visit:             Home of Thomas Prothero, Agent of Lord Tredegar

Yes Able to visit inside:             No

Open all year:                No

 

Site Name:        Kings Head, Newport (site of)

Description:      Location of William Cobbett’s speech 1830

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            331082 Northing:           188355

Only see the outside:

Yes Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Newport Town Walk

www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Leisure-and-Tourism/Newports-Chartist-Walk.pdf

Description:      Town walk compiled in 1989 showing route of Chartist march.

Reasons to visit:           Compiled by David Osman links sites including St Woolos, Tredegar Park, Waterloo Road etc.

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Tredegar House

Pencarn Way, Newport NP10 8YW

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tredegar-house

Description:      Home of the Morgan family – Octavius Morgan was member of the Grand Jury that decided the Chartists should be charged with treason.

Reasons to visit:           See how the Mine and landowners lived at the time of the Chartist March

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:   Yes

 

Site Name:        Westgate Hotel, Newport

Description:      Location of riot – commemorated on the pedestrianised road in front of the building by 1991 Christopher Kelly sculpture

Reasons to visit:           The site of the riot – it is easy to visualise the marchers coming down Stow Hill and congregating outside the hotel before the first shot was fired.

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Newport Museum

John Frost Square, Newport   NP20 1PA

01633 656656

museum@newport.gov.uk

www.newport.gov.uk/heritage/Homepage.aspx

Description:      Display of Chartist Memorabilia including route map, copies of paintings, accounts, weapons. Also painting “Attack of the Chartists on the Westgate Hotel” by JF Mullock – who witnessed the riot.

Reasons to visit:           Two cases of Chartism memorabilia – guns, cap, petitions, weapons, silver, map, some images (not originals)

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Newport Reference Library

Central Library, John Frost Square, Newport NP20 1PA

01633 656656

reference.library@newport.gov.uk

www.newport.gov.uk/en/Leisure-Tourism/Libraries/Find-a-library/Central-Library.aspx

Description:      Large collection of Newport Chartism reference material – mainly secondary resources and quite academic collection. Also includes a schedule of the Trial Proceedings, which was found in the 1920’s in a trunk at a local Newport business, and the witness statements.

Reasons to visit:           Microfiche of Monmouthshire Merlin, Monmouthshire Vindicator, John Frost letters, Schedule of Trail Proceedings, Witness Statements for Prosecution, Tredegar Papers, Letters to/from Landowners. The full set of witness statements give an interesting insigh

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Caerleon – the Mynde Walls

Centre of Caerleon

www.caerleon.net/mynde/

Description:      John Frost visited on several occasions to talk at public meetings – legend has it John Frost’s headstone may be inside the Mynde Walls, which were possibly built as security measure by John Jenkins

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Cefn, Rogerstone

Description:      Location of  marchers’ rendevous

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            327800  Northing:          188619

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Charles Williams School, Caerleon

www.charleswilliamsprimary.org/

Description:      Legend has it that John Frost was kept in custody here during court proceedings in 1821 when Thomas Protheroe took legal action against Frost for an alleged libellous letter

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Malpas Court, Newport

Oliphant Circle, Newport NP20 6AD

01633 235405

Gwynneth.roderick@newport.gov.uk

www.newport.gov.uk/en/Business/Conference-venues/Malpas-Court.aspx

Description:      Home of Thomas Protheroe. The Pontypool troop of Chartists stopped here and were believed to have intended to kidnap Protheroe’s family – who had been sent away.

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:       Not at present

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Site of Royal Oak Inn, Newport

Description:      Birthplace of John Frost in 1784, in Thomas Street

Reasons to visit:

Easting:            330913  Northing:          188235

Only see the outside:     Yes

Able to visit inside:        No

Open all year:    N/A

 

Site Name:        Newport ‘dungeons’

Description:      Basement under market – dates from 1856 – legend has it convicts were held here before transportation from Adjacent River Usk

Reasons to visit:           A view of the life of prisoners of the period

Easting:            331104  Northing:          188273

Only see the outside: Yes

Able to visit inside: Limited  themed events

Open all year:    No

Site Name:        Bush Inn, Newport

Description:      Meeting place of Newport Working Men’s association

Reasons to visit:

VisitWales Category:     VisitWales Sub Category:

Easting:            Northing:

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Welch Oak Inn, Rogerstone

Newport Rd, Rogerstone, Newport NP10 9GG

01633 612446

thewelshoak.co.uk/

Description:      Meeting point as the Chartists marched on Newport in 1839.

Reasons to visit:

Only see the outside:

Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Rising Sun, Rogerstone, Newport

1 Cefn Rd, Rogerstone, Newport NP10 9AQ

01633 895126

www.therisingsunnewport.co.uk/

Description:      public house Chartist meeting place

Reasons to visit:

VisitWales Category:     Excursions/sightseeing/attractions

VisitWales Sub Category:          Heritage

Easting:            327467  Northing:          188498

Only see the outside:     Yes – and you can visit the pub/restaurant

Able to visit inside:        Open all year:    Yes

 

Site Name:        Site of – The Parrot Inn

Description:      Former public house associated with Chartist events in Newport

Reasons to visit:           Story that publican was a special agent and got knifed near Risca

Easting:            331105 Northing:           187889

Only see the outside:

Yes  Able to visit inside:

Open all year:

 

Site Name:        Ship & Pilot Inn, Newport

Church Street, Newport NP20 2BY

Description:      Place where Chartists women met

Able to visit inside:        Yes

Open all year:    Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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