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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 268071

Map Reference SO30SE

Grid Reference SO37670092

Unitary (Local) Authority Monmouthshire

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Usk

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description Usk was the site of a large early Roman fort, Burrium (NPRN 93470), which was abandoned within decades in favour of Caerleon (NPRN 95647). A smaller fortress was established on the same site, and within a century a civilian settlement developed along the military roads. The medieval castle of Usk (NPRN 94856) was built by the Normans in the early twelfth century, and the borough planned with streets radiating from a central market square (NPRN 20966). The castle was held by the de Clare family, who founded the Benedictine Priory (20700) in the twelfth century. A defensive wall (NPRN 306431) was built around the town in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century.

As with many towns on the Welsh border, Usk was often subject to unrest, which included the town being almost entirely burned during the uprising of Owain Glyndwr, who was defeated at the Battle of Usk in 1405. The town was incorporated by the charters of several monarchs, and held a weekly market in an area below the Town Hall (NPRN 32012). The town still holds weekly country markets, as well as a fortnightly farmers market and annual agricultural show. In the late eighteenth century Usk became famed for its Japanware; decorative lacquered tinplate, but remained largely free from industrialisation.

Source: Lewis, Samuel, Topographical Dictionary of England, Vol.4, 1831.

K Steele, RCAHMW, 2 January 2009

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