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Monmouth

Historic county town with royal connections

Trefynwy (Welsh); twinned with Carbonne (France) and Waldbronn (Germany)

Three rivers, the Trothy, Wye and Monnow, meet at Monmouth. It's from the latter that the town and county take their name.

History has left many traces. The 13th century Monnow Bridge is the only gated bridge of its type in Britain. And Monmouth Castle, now a regimental museum, was the birthplace of Henry V, the victor of Agincourt.

But today's Monmouth is largely a Georgian town. The elegant Shire Hall dates from 1724 and, in 1840, saw the famous Chartist Trial. And just outside the town, on The Kymin, the Round House was built in 1794 as a banqueting house for the town's menfolk. Not that it was exclusively male; Lady Hamilton visited in 1802 with Lord Nelson. The town's Nelson Museum celebrates the life and loves of the naval hero, with many personal items and memorabilia.

Another famous son made his mark at the turn of the 20th century, when aviator Charles Rolls of The Hendre achieved the longest single flight in a hot-air balloon and the world's first non-stop double Channel crossing in an aeroplane.

However, Monmouth is a town that looks forward as well as back. And its events programme is a particular draw. Summer ushers in the Monmouth Festival, one of Europe's largest free music festivals, and the Monmouthshire Show, the largest one-day show in Wales.

See the town website for more on visiting Monmouth.