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History Department revisit 1605

March 1st, 2020

1605: When the Monnow valley worried the king

On a sunny Saturday morning before Half Term the Sixth Form Historians who are studying Stuart Britain explored the remote parts of the Monnow Valley associated with two national events: Pembridge Castle, Trigate, the Cwm farmhouse and Welsh Newton church.

In 1605, 300 armed locals attended an open air Mass near Trigate Bridge in defiance of the Bishop of Hereford, and James I was only dissuaded from sending his army into the valley by fear of provoking civil war. In 1678 the Popish Plot in London led to the Bishop’s men closing down the Jesuit seminary operating out of the Cwm and arresting and executing local priest, 80 year old John Kemble. Visiting these remote sites, hidden away yet within 4 miles of Monmouth, brought home to the party how mostly people far away from London could escape many of the changes and political turmoil, but also how occasionally the brutality of the age caught up with them.

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