The Secret Life of Chepstow

Good morning … I have been busy looking at setting up a website but unfortunately I am a technophobe! However, at the moment I’m torn between upgrading this blog or starting afresh with Wix. I have found that easy to use so far so we’ll see but would be interesting in hearing people’s experiences.  For now, I’m beginning to market my second book due out in August whilst cracking on writing my third about the History of Nursing. I’m also toying with a completely different genre – romantic comedy. They say write what you read (whomever ‘they’ are!) but whilst history is and always will be my first love, just like my reading, sometimes I like a light, refreshing read that makes me laugh. I best find some time first 😉

St Mary’s Priory Church, originally part of the ancient Chepstow Priory. Image courtesy of Wyatt Sisters Illustration ©Lisa Wyatt


Secret Chepstow  doesn’t have much about the famous Castle as there is a wealth of info out there but more the unknown stories, buildings and local characters. For example, Chepstow didn’t actually exist until 1067, it appears to have been ignored by the Romans who bridged the River Wye further upstream to get from Gloucester to Caerleon. People like the Steward of Chepstow, who also happened to be the brother of the Marcher Lord of Chepstow, the earl of Worcester, threatening a crown official with the stocks for trying to collect taxes at Chepstow Port in 1572. Or Nathaniel Wells, Britain’s first mixed-race High Sheriff and magistrate of Monmouthshire who had 20 children. And there was the seemingly tragic life of John Detheridge, a nobody, born into the workhouse and amazingly, I was able to follow his hard life through prison records, census lists and old newspaper reports. Unfortunately, despite burial records, I couldn’t find the pauper burial ground, despite help from the local church! 

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