Winter Lecture programme 2014 - 2015


7.30pm   25th September 2014: Dr Naylor Firth - Monmouthshire Oddments

Dr Naylor Firth has degrees in Geology and Chemistry and has worked extensively in environmental sciences and field geology. He has travelled widely where his interest in colour photography has enabled him to assemble a large collection of images from which he illustrates all his talks. His other main interests include singing with Chepstow Male Voice Choir, gardening and carpentry. He was born in Chepstow.

The County of Monmouthshire contains a wealth of features reminding us of the historical events which have moulded its natural and man-made landscape. Castles and Churches are obvious features, but this talk concentrates on a diverse range of items which can easily be overlooked. Examples include mileposts, toll houses, WWII pill boxes, relics of copper and iron smelting, monkey-puzzle trees, bridges, dry valleys and a number of other quirky aspects of the County. Dr Firth can almost guarantee there will be one near you!

7pm   23rd October 2014: Stephen Clarke – Monmouth's Lost Lake [followed by AGM]

Eminent archaeologist and author Steve Clarke will be giving us a fascinating talk on the remarkable story of a huge Ice Age lake which survived in the bowl of Monmouth almost into Roman times and was overlooked by human settlements for thousands of years. His latest book is causing excitement across the archaeological world because of the interpretation of Bronze Age remains on the Parc Glyndwr building site between Rockfield Road and Watery Lane in Monmouth. From a blockage of the Wye Valley above Redbrook, the shore of the lake ran around the higher ground of Monmouth to Croft-y-Bwla, creating a lake some four kilometres across and at least six metres deep in lower Monnow Street and at Overmonnow. Excavation showed that the channels were a hundred feet long, perfectly parallel and level and contained evidence of wood-working … More on the night!

7.30pm  27th November 2014: John Barnard – The Ruins of Caerwent 

In addition to Caerwent, John Barnard is involved with the MOD at Dinham and has excavated with Operation Nightingale over the last 2 years, as well as Cardiff university students' field work study, and will share the findings with us. We'll welcome John Barnard to talk about 'The ruins of Roman Caerwent, once one of the largest towns in Wales. It was also the tribal capital of the Silures (Venta Silurum). Impressive fourth-century walls standing up to 17 feet high, excavated houses, forum-basilica and a Romano-British temple still remain. John will be bringing samples of pottery, artefacts and replicas, which will be fascinating.

7.30pm 22nd January 2015: Jonathan Jenkins – The History of Howick Farm

Jonathan will be giving an interesting talk and slide show on the history of Howick Farm from 1306 to the present.

7.30pm 26th February 2015: Lena Dyche – History of Sweden

Lena's talk incorporates everything from the early days to today – including the Vikings and wars etc. She is Swedish and lives in Monmouth. She has worked as a tour guide and teacher in various parts of Europe for 20 years. Among her many interests are history and lifestyles in different countries. She speaks six languages!

ANNUAL TEA PARTY: 28th March 2015 – hoping to get a lady or two doing something 'Medieval'! More later!

Winter Lecture programme 2013 – 2014

Thursday 26th September 2013 “The Great Severn Flood 1607”, Dr. Mark Lewis .  Followed by the AGM at 8pm

Thursday 24th October 2013 “Raglan Fallen”, Dr. Brinley Morgan

Thursday 28th November 2014 “Monmouthshire Agricultural Workers in the 1860’s” Peter Strong

December 2013 Merry Christmas & happy New Year!

Thursday 23rd January 2014 “Discovering the history of the Troy House Estate” Dr Ann Benson

Thursday 27th February 2014 “What two sisters did for Wales” David Harrison

Saturday 15th March ANNUAL TEA PARTY “The Nelson Museum - Monmouth” Sue Miles, Head Custodian. 3:00pm at Raglan Golf course clubhouse.  Tickets £10

Thursday 27th March  “Brunel in South Wales” Stephen Jones

Summer Outings 2014  

- 7pm 24th April (confirmed).  Usk Rural Life Museum - £3.75pp.

11 New Market Street, Usk, NP15 1AU.  (free parking available in Maryport Street car park situated at the rear of the museum.

The museum houses a unique collection of over 5000 artefacts from the smallest handtools and household items through to large agricultural machinery and vintage tractors.  It portrays rural life in Monmouthshire covering a period of about 100 years from 1850.  The collection is housed in a 16th century malt barn and an extensive collection of adjoining buildings.

- 7pm 22nd May (confirmed).  Shire Hall, Monmouth - £2.50pp.

Agincourt Square, Monthouth.

This is a Grade 1 listed building built in 1724 and is at least the fourth building on the site.  It was formerly the centre for the Assize Courts and Quarter Sessions for Monmouthshire and has an amazing history which we will learn about.  We will have an escort to show and explain the interior of the court house etc.

- 7pm 26th June (confirmed).  St Nicholas’s Church, Trellech (donations?)

The present church is held to date largely from the 13th and 14th centuries, and the magnificent spire was rebuilt around 1702.  There are wonderful stained glass windows and when the floor was disturbed at some point many skeletons were discovered and the obviously hurried burials were thought to be connected with the Great Plagues of 1340 and 1350!

- 7pm 24th July (hopefully!).  Llwyn-y-gaer, Tregare – further details later.

 Payment is made on the evening.

Winter Lecture programme 2012 – 2013
Thursday 27th September 2012 Annual General Meeting followed by an illustrated talk on “Medieval Medicine” Adrianne Jones

Thursday 25th October 2012  “The History of Abergavenny.    Chris Barber

Thursday 22nd November 2012“Bradney Houses in the Hundred of Raglan”  ,Roland Ward

December 2012 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thursday 24th January 2013 “Joseph Garcia & the Llangybi Murders” Goff Brangham

Thursday 28th February 2013 “Charles Williams Charity of Caerleon,  Carl Stafford

Saturday 2nd March 2013.  Annual Tea Party “Newport Mediaeval Ship”(updates and further research) Bob Trett

Thursday 28th March 2013 History of Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal - Roger Foster

Winter Lecture programme 2011 – 2012

Thursday 22rd September 7pm. The History of Parce, France (our twin village), Archie Speirs, followed by AGM and announcement of 

Raglan School 2011 History Prize.

Archie Spiers, a member of the Parce Twinning Committee provides us with a guided tour of Parce, with diaporama, pointing out architectural features of different epoches.

Thursday 27th October. Village life in Old Raglan, Dr. Cheryl Morgan

Thursday 24th November. Dr Gareth John, ‘Glimpses of Gwent’

Thursday 26th January. British spies and Double Agents: Part 2, Dr. Brinley Morgan

Thursday 23rd February. ‘Tales from the Green Valleys’, Peter Sommers

Thursday 22nd March. Old documents and their accessibility, Bill Lloyd, Chapel Books

Please note that the date of the Annual Tea Party changed to Saturday, 24th March. 2:30pm. Tea Party at Raglan Golf Club. Our speaker Sian Rees, CADW will be talking on ‘A Career in Ruins’

Winter Lecture programme 2010 – 2011

Thursday 23rd September. 7pm. Winter in Tibet, by Elizabeth Friendship, followed by AGM

Thursday 28th October. The diary of Midshipman Marcus McCausland who served as part of the last naval circumnavigation of the world conducted under sail between 1868-1870 and known as the “Flying Squadron”. The presentation will include  fascinating insights into the voyage and ports of call  as well as many rare and historically important photographs bound into the diary including hostile aborigine chieftains, Japanese execution yards, and north American gold pioneers.  The presentation will also discuss the details surrounding the subsequent murder of Marcus McCausland by East African slave traders and its repercussions on the slave trade., by Charles Fountain

Thursday 25th November. The Chartists of 1839, by David Harrison, MA

Thursday 27th January. British spies and Double Agents, Brinley Morgan

Thursday 24th February. The story behind the BBC series, ‘Tales from the Green Valleys’, Peter Sommers

Thursday 5th March. Tea Party at Raglan Golf Club (speaker to be arranged)

Thursday 24th March. 'Development of Clocks' Dr John Kershaw

Winter Lecture programme 2009 – 2010

Thursday 29th October 2009:  Annual general meeting at 7:00pm followed by an illustrated talk by Dr Ray Howells, on 'The Iron Age"

Thursday 26th November 2009:  "Christmas in Roman Times" Mark Lewis

December 2009:  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (no meeting)

January 28th 2010:  'Life and Time of the Sundial - a perspective on Divilisation's most enduring Timekeeper" Kevin Karney

February 25th 2010:  "Jack the Ripper" Roger Morgan

March 6th 2010:  Annual Tea Party at Raglan Golf Club

March 25th 2010:  'Development of Clocks' Dr John Kershaw

April 22nd 2010:  'On Tibet'  Elizabeth Friendship

Winter Lecture programme 2008 – 2009

26 February 2009, 'A lively presentation of the life and times of the 17th century' re-enactment group:  The Marcher Stuarts.' 7:30 pm, Raglan Primary School

Saturday, 7 March 2009 - Annual Tea Party and talk, 'Exploring 20th Century Raglan Village'  by Dr Cheryl Morgan.  2:30 pm, Raglan Golf Course Clubhouse 

26th March, 
'The Magic of Wales', by Chris Barber,  7:30 pm, Raglan Primary School

23rd April 2009, '
Down the Pit' A wonderfully illustrated talk on coal mining, by John Evans.  7:30 pm, Raglan Primary School

25 June 2009. Summer outing to 
Trewyn Manor House (Nr Pandy).  Please contact Wendy Marshall at 01873 840 644  for  further information.  

School Summer outings begin in May 2009. All outings are generally at 6:30pm for 7:00pm except for Trewyn Manor (3:35) and the Forest of Dean (7:15pm) . Please contact Wendy Marshall at 01873 840 644 to verify times, confirm your participation and to obtain directions for joining the outings

Thursday, 28th May 2009. Outing to 15th Century Henllys Court, Tregare. By kind permission of Mr. & Mrs. Thompson. Followed by a visit to Tregare Church.  The Rev. Simon Guest will meet us at Tregare Church at 8:00PM after our visit to Henllys Farm 

Thursday, 25th June 2009. Outing to Trewyn Manor House, Pandy Abergavenny NP7 7PG. By Kind permission of Valentine Walsh. NB. Please contact Wendy Marshall at 01873 840 644 to confirm your participation.  NB.  This is an afternoon meeting @3:35pm.  Directions:  From Abergavenny take A465.  Turn left by the Pandy Inn (opp: Caravan Site).  Straight on for approx 2 miles. Look left for a narrow lane with a small Trewyn sign opposite a large green barn and two 5 -barred gates.  Continue up lane to Trewyn Manor House 1st left.  Parking within house gates.  Extra cars may have to park dscreetly on the narrow lane. 

Thursday, 23rd July 2009 at 7:15pm. Outing to Speech House, Forest of Dean. Peter Ralph will provide a conducted tour of the house and area. (Charge of £3 per person to cover costs). 

Thursday, 24th September 2009. Outing to St Faiths Bacton Church and Abbey Dore.  Directions to St Faiths Church Bacton.  From Abergavenny roundabout take A465 towards Hereford.  At Pontrilas take B4347 towards Longtown past Abbeydore towards Bacton which is well signposted.  Afterwards return to Abbeydore which closes at dusk.  A guided tour will cost £1.50 per guest.  

Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 7:00pm. The AGM and Winter programme commences at Raglan School    

Programme 2007 

Thursday 22nd November 2007 - "The Medieval Coroner". Prof B. Knight

Thursday 24th January 2008 - "The Heraldry of Usk Castle".  Keith Underwood

Thursday 28th February 2008- "A Ship's Surgeon at the time of Nelson".  Roger Morgan

Thursday 27th March 2008 - "War Time in Usk 1939 - 45".  Jan Barrow

Thursday 24th April 2008 - "The Rolls Family and the Monmouth Museum Collections".  Andrew Helm

Cwm Farm Cider House Llangattock Lingoed

Thursday 24th May, Evening visit , 7:00pm 

Rare, purpose built Cider House dating from 1754, largely unaltered. Followed by Llangattock Church which has intricately-carved rood beams, 17thC pews, 18thC wall monuments plus a restored late Medieval wall painting
£2.50 per person

Llanvihangel Court, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny

Thursday 28th June, Evening visit, 7:00pm

An historic 15C Tudor Manor House with landscaped gardens. Contains fine 17C panelling and plaster ceilings, with important oak staircase, stables and large barn. Among other historic associations it was a reputed hideaway for Charles I during the Civil War
£4.00 per person

Usk Castle

Thursday 26th July. Evening visit. 7:00pm

The Castle, on an elevated site over-looking the town, consists of inner and outer baileys strengthened by towers and surrounded by earth-work defences. It is one of the few to be privately owned and has been lovingly restored. Beautiful gardens have also been planted
£3.00 per person

Pembridge, Herefordshire

Thursday 27th September. Evening visit. 6:30pm

A guided tour of Pembridge Castle and other wonderful listed buildings in this thriving mediaveal black & white village, eg the unique octagonal detached Bell Tower dated 1208, the 16thC Market Hall, Merchants houses and cottages galore.
A44 between Leaminster and Kington
£2.50 per person
The AGM is on the 23rd October 2008, starting 7.00pm - a lecture follows entitled "Mistress Blanche - Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante" given by Ruth Richardson, starting 7.30 pm.


The lecture on 27th November 2008 is "The Family who lived at Raglan Castle" given by Anna Tribe - starts 7.30 pm.

December 2008:  No meeting

27th January 2009, 'The Forest of Dean' by Peter Ralph

26 February 2009, 'A lively presentation of the life and times of the 17th century' re-enactment group:  The Marcher Stuarts

26th March, 'The Magic of Wales', by Chris Barber

23rd April 2009, 'Down the Pit' A wonderfully illustrated talk on coal mining, by John Evans


© C Morgan 2014