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Exhibition:A People's Castle Exhibition at Abergavenny Museum and Castle

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Abergavenny Museum & Castle

Abergavenny Museum & Castle

Credit : Richard Jordan
Abergavenny Museum & Castle

Exhibition, free entry

Castle Street,



This year sees the 200th anniversary of the 2nd Earl of Abergavenny having the building which now houses the museum, constructed - it was known as Castle House. The building soon housed tenants and the grounds were used as kitchen gardens and an orchard. In 1880 the 5th Earl, who became the 1st Marquess of Abergavenny, handed over Castle House and the grounds including the Castle ruins to the Abergavenny Corporation for a peppercorn rent to be used as a place of recreation for local people and a destination for visitors. Rustic walkways were constructed, along with a bandstand, a dance floor, lawn tennis court and a large banqueting hall, formal planted areas and turfed lawns. The site was opened to the public with a grand fete in June 1881 and this heralded an era lasting until the First World War, of fetes and entertainments with fairground rides, swing boats and firework displays.

This exhibition will enable visitors to find out much about this extraordinary era and what has happened since then – including the opening of the Museum, which also celebrates an anniversary this year – of 60 years.

The exhibition has been curated by Sue Smith and Kay Celtel who contributed their time and talents on a purely voluntary basis. They wrote the information panels, selected images, approved the overall design and assisted with the installation of the exhibition. In addition, Kay worked with Gwent Archives to select documents for display, whilst Sue devised activities and digital content and identified objects from the Museum Collection.

It has been possible to include such a wide range of information thanks to research carried out by Abergavenny Local History Society Research Group who spent many hours going through the archives at the Abergavenny Chronicle Office and to Katie Davies who arranged this research into themes. Once these themes had been chosen one of the museums regular volunteers Irene Hofayz spent many hours assisting with the selection of suitable objects from the museum collections.

The exhibition has been funded with the assistance of the Nevill Estate, Monmouthshire Museums Supporters Scheme and through contributions to our donation box.

Coach parties acceptedFacilities for educational visitsAccepts groups

Opening details

12th February - 17th November 2019
Open 11 – 4 (Closed Wednesdays)


Free entry


Ms R Rogers


Castle Street,


Plan route to Abergavenny Museum and Castle using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SO 299140  Lat: 51.82020 Long: -3.01842

From the north take the M5 to Gloucester, the M50 to Ross on Wye and then follow the signs to Monmouth and the A449/A40 to Abergavenny. From the south take the M4 to J24; follow the A449/A40 north and the A40


  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups