market town on the banks of the River Usk,
Abergavenny is a mixture of new development
and old buildings set among narrow streets.
The town is surrounded by tall, mysterious
mountains and is regarded as the gateway to
the Brecon Beacons National Park. Some of its
houses date to the Tudor period.
The Romans called the place Gobannium and mined iron ore. In the 11th century the conquering Normans built a castle in an attempt to drive out their Welsh foes, though only a few walls have survived. In 1176 a number of Welsh lords were massacred after being invited to the castle for peace talks.
During the Second World War, Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was held for a time in Abergavenny’s mental asylum and allowed weekly walks in the Welsh countryside.