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Chepstow which is a Norman castle was constructed beginning in 1067 This was less than a year after the new king William the Conqueror was crowned It was built high over the river Wye in Southeast Wales The Normans werent the first to realize the strategic value of this position We know this because the arch above the main doorway into the hall was built by bricks taken from a Roman fort that used to stand close by This position was an advantage partly because it allowed allies to bring supplies to the castle during times of battle and siege They brought these supplies through the riverAll through the Middle Ages Chepstow remained the center of the military and also administrative power In Strigoils Marcher lordship Chepstow was built by William fitz-Osbern a loyal Norman LordA few months after the battle of Hastings in 1066 William fitz-Osbern then lord of Breteuil in Normandy was created earl of Hereford by William the Conqueror He was stuck with the job of subduing the southern Welsh borderlandsBefore his death in 1071 he had completed the rectangular keep This is the earliest dateable secular stone structure in BritainFortresses built by fitz-Osbern were the vehicles that the new king used to obtain control over his newly conquered lands Chepstow became the main launching point for journeys that over time quieted the rebellious people Chepstows Great Hall which was started in 1067 is the oldest surviving stone fortification in Britain because of this and some other facts its important to Britains history Other castles built at this time have been long gone but here at Chepstow it is possible to see and feel the remainsInside the Great Hall men with considerable power planned strategies with other Welsh Marcher Lords They mapped out invasions to gain control of the country that was still ruled by groups of powerful PrincesThe Hall always was the heart of this castle originally it stood by itself
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