On the border between England and Wales where ancient cultures met and clashed and stamped their identity, this area is dotted with ruined castles and churches, closest is Raglan Castle, visible from the farmhouse, and the famous Tintern Abbey is a short drive away. Our local town Monmouth has the only remaining medieval fortified bridge with gate tower in Britain.
Monmouth’s layout has changed little since the Romans and the Normans built the town. Being on the east-west route leading to the gold-panning areas, the Romans were here in strength, evidenced by the grassy amphitheatre in Carleon and the newly-excavated town by Trelleck.
Nearby Trelleck has Stone Age monolithic site of 3 great standing stones, and there’s a Medieval sacred wishing well which pilgrims still visit and tie small strips of coloured cloth to represent their wish.
Here on the farm, friendly metal detectors have found Roman coins and pottery at the crossing place in our stream. Local people say there was some kind of Medieval aqueduct across our farm connecting a string of ponds.
For recent history, there’s a disused viaduct just before Monmouth, with a pretty walk below it and along the path beside the river. Other local walks include Offa’s Dyke footpath, and the Wye Valley where you can cross the river by hand-pulled ferry.