Welcome to Gwent's Townpage

Abergavenny - Gateway to Wales in the western corner of the county of Monmouthshire is the pleasant welsh town of Abergavenny, once noted for the manufacture of periwigs and welsh flannel. Situated in one of the lovliest valleys in Wales at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain (1,955 feet) on the doorstep of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Abergavenny is a popular centre for anglers and walkers who enjoy the breathtaking countryside. Views of Grosmont and Skenfrith Castle can be seen from Campston Hill. According to legend, nearby Skirrid-fawr is a cleft by a chasm, opened on the death of Jesus Christ.

There are remains of both St Mary’s Church containing old monuments and tombs and 12th Century Abergavenny Castle, where local chieftons were invited under the pretence of Christmas celebrations by Baron William de Broase and notoriously massacred. Today part of the castle houses a museum of farming equipment, and its scenic grounds are open to the public. Llanfihangel Court to the north of the town is an Elizabethan manor house also open to the public, with equally fine gardens.

This picturesque market town on the banks of the River Usk, remains unspoilt and is characterised by a labrynth of narrow streets and Tudor houses. There is ample accommodation for visitors.

Abertillery - As an ex-coal town, Abertillery consists mainly of pitheads and factories. With business now prospering, this large town is continuing to encourage new industries into the area. Another prominent feature of Abertillery is the steep rows of terraced houses set on the wooded hillsides. In 1961 the 'Six Bells colliery disaster' killed 45 men.

Blaenavon - Blaenavon has a long industrial history dating back to the 1780s, when the first iron mine was opened here. It is believed that coal was taken from natural crevices as far back as Roman times, and it was mined here up until the closure of the Big Pit in 1980. Along with iron, coal was responsible for the growth of the town - in fact many of the houses were originally built for miners.

Its industrial heritage is the greatest attraction of Blaenavon. The Big Pit is now a museum, and the old Ironworks is a fascinating place to visit. There are also some of the things Wales is famous for on offer in the area, including walks in lovely countryside or perhaps a chance to listen to the local male voice choir.

Cwmbran - A new town just 8 miles north of Newport. Various facilities include a leisure centre, athletics stadium and theatre, Greenmeadow Community Farm and Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre.

Ebbw Vale - The spectacular sight of the 2 1/2 mile long steel sheet and tin-plate works of the Steel Company of Wales is breathtaking. In contrast to its heavy industry, Ebbw Vale was the location of Britain's final Garden Festival held in 1992. The area is best known for Aneurin Bevan, a formidable Labour MP of whom a monument now stands on the outskirts.

Monmouth - Twelve miles north of Chepstow. A very historic and picturesque town on the Monnow, close to the Wye. Its best known feature is the very ancient fortified Gatehouse on Monnow Bridge, the only one of its kind in the country. Henry V was born in the castle, of which little remains. The church is all that is left of the Benedictine Priory. There are 17th century almshouses, and Nelson relics in the Museum. Elegant town square. Town is on the route of Offa's Dyke Path. To east of the Wye is the Forest of Dean.

Tredegar - Large industrial town at the head of Sirhowy valley, which was devoted to collieries and iron-working - one of the important centres of the Welsh iron industry in the past. Some of the reclaimed land has been converted into park with a lake, Bryn Back Park.

Usk - This small ancient market town was known in Roman days as Burrium. Eight miles north of Newport. The Castle, which stands on a bluff overlooking the town, saw heavy fighting during the Civil War. St. Mary's Church was founded in the 12th century by Benedictine nuns, and is still used. Town has Gwent Rural Life Museum and is on the route of the Usk Valley Walk, 25 miles, between Caerleon and Abergavenny. Good fishing in the Usk.

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