Part 2...Raglan Castle...A look inside medieval times...Wonderful dinner with friends...Two days and counting...


When the four of us walked across the drawbridge over the moat at Raglan Castle it was easy to imagine the circumstances under which they needed to close off the castle.
From this site:
Fascinating Fact of the Day about Raglan, 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* (see below) to have a view and inquire of lands in Landenny (Llandenny) and Ragland late of Philip David Morris", (Dec. 1632). Subsequent leet courts refer to the liberty of Raglan and in 1682 the hundred of Ragland is mentioned. Court Roll excerpts reflect the 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 stocks and whipping post in the parish of Raglan’. In 1695 the repair of bridges is still under discussion, ‘The bridge called Pont y bonehouse in the town of Raglan, 1695. John Curre, gent., steward’.

There is no longer a direct train service to the village, the local railway station having closed in 1955. The railway station buildings have been removed to St Fagans. 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.

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*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). Subsequent leet courts refer to the liberty of Raglan and in 1682 the hundred of Ragland is mentioned. Court Roll excerpts reflect the 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 stocks and whipping post in the parish of Raglan’. In 1695 the repair of bridges is still under discussion, ‘The bridge called Pont y bonehouse in the town of Raglan, 1695. John Curre, gent., steward."
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The doorways in Raglan Castle have interesting designs.
Last night's dinner at The Boat Inn in Chepstow (our second visit) with Liz and Dave from Bristol was sheer pleasure.  We hadn't seen Liz for five years when we met in South Kensington, London in August 2014.  Last night we met Dave for the first time but somehow over the years of email communication, we felt as if we knew him.
Intricate patterns carved in stone remain yet today. 
I could kick myself for failing to take any photos. The conversation was so wonderfully entertaining, it totally slipped my mind.  We had another fine meal in this highly rated bistro/pub and the hours slipped by.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye.  We each had a long drive ahead of us in the dark.  It was the first time we drove from Chepstow to Shirenewton in the dark but by this time, Tom had the route figured out, and we got back to our holiday home in no time.
The lush green countryside that surrounds the castle is breathtaking, even today with the addition of farms and homes.
Once back in the house, we settled in for a quiet remainder of the night and before too long we were off to bed.  I had a fitful night, tossing and turning, sleeping only for short periods with lots of dreams.
Window panes such as these were an integral part of the original design.
With my phone not working I used Tom's phone to play solitaire in-between the equivalent of "naps." It's so boring I often fall back to sleep before too long but last night was an exception.  Overall, I don't think I slept more than four hours.
Tom seated on the king's throne.
You know how it is...we can easily start overthinking during the night to send ourselves into a flurry of worry and doubt.  Although generally speaking, I am not a worrier (Tom handles that for me).  But last night after two glasses of white wine at dinner, my mind was racing.  

I think I should go back to red wine on the upcoming cruise which doesn't seem to have an effect on my quality of sleep.  On cruises, I usually have a few glasses of red wine early in the evening (at happy hour) and then switch to mineral water for the remainder of the evening.  This avoids any unpleasant after-effects.
A tucked-away toilet (referred to as a "loo" in the UK).
The cardiologist in South Africa recommended drinking only red wine (in moderation, of course) which seems to have a good effect on the heart.  I didn't drink any alcohol for over 20 years and started drinking red wine a few years ago on cruises.

While we've been "at home" in the UK, these past two months, we've had no alcohol whatsoever.  It was only this week when out to dine with Linda and Ken and then again last night, that I tried some white wine.  No more of that for me.
More intricate stone carvings remain among the ruins.
Today, we're washing our final loads of laundry hoping everything will dry indoors on the drying rack.  Some items seem to take three days to dry so we may be pushing it when we're leaving on Tuesday to drive to Southampton for a two-night hotel stay and again dinner with friends we made who've been reading our posts for years.
"A prie-dieu (French: literally, "pray [to] God", invariable in the plural) is a type of prayer desk primarily intended for private devotional use, but may also be found in churches. It is a small, ornamental wooden desk furnished with a thin, sloping shelf for books or hands and a kneeler."
At noon, we're heading back to The Boat Inn for our final meal out in Chepstow.  We made a reservation for the "Sunday roast," a popular tradition in the UK when one may choose to order beef, pork or lamb.  Tom usually chooses the beef while I go for the lamb.  We'll take photos to share in tomorrow's post.
Curved window panes.
Below is the last of the information we're posting on Raglan Castle where once again, we had a memorable experience with Linda and Ken after touring two castles this past week.

From this site:
"Despite Tudor and Jacobean rebuilding the Raglan Castle we see today is largely the work of one hugely ambitious man – Sir William Herbert.

In less than 10 years this country squire turned himself into arguably the most powerful Welshman of the age. He began his dazzling career fighting in France, where he was captured and ransomed and was knighted in 1452.

Having grown rich by importing Gascony wine, Herbert was made sheriff of Glamorgan and constable of Usk Castle. He played a crucial role in a decisive defeat of Lancastrian forces during the Wars of the Roses in 1461."
These three windows indicate three levels from which the floors eventually
 wore away.
"The grateful new king Edward IV rewarded Herbert by making him chief justice and chamberlain of South Wales – and grandly styling him Baron Herbert of Raglan. Underlining this meteoric rise young Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII was sent to Sir William to be brought up at Raglan Castle.

Great men need great houses. So Herbert continued his father’s work at Raglan on an epic scale, creating a magnificent new gatehouse and two great courts of sumptuous apartments. Now he could dispense hospitality with the best.

Poet Dafydd Llwyd praised his incredible fortress-palace with its ‘hundred rooms filled with festive fare, its hundred chimneys for men of high degree’."
Tom standing in the fireplace in the massive kitchen often used to prepare meals for 100's of guests.
"Herbert’s final accolade was the most remarkable of all. In 1468 he was created Earl of Pembroke as a reward for his capture of Harlech Castle, the last Lancastrian stronghold in England and Wales. It made him the first member of the Welsh gentry to enter the ranks of the English peerage.

He didn’t enjoy this prestige for long. Herbert was defeated and captured at the battle of Edgecote in 1469 – and brutally beheaded the very next day. The reported death of 5,000 men, mostly Welshmen, in his army makes it one of Wales’s greatest losses in battle.

The body of the ambitious earl was brought back to southeast Wales and buried in the Cistercian abbey church at Tintern. It was left to the Somersets, earls of Worcester, to usher in the glories of the Tudor age at Raglan."

Have a superb Sunday!  Go Vikings!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 20, 2018:
A group of cape buffalo may be called an "obstinacy."  For more photos from the "Ridiculous Nine," please click here.

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