GWENT LOCAL HISTORY COUNCIL President: RICHARD HANBURY TENISON Chairman: W. H. BAKER Secretary: ARTHUR DAVIES 8 Pentonville, Newport, Gwent Editor: MRS. E. JANE PEARSON 'Bendigeidfran', 47A Bridge Street, Chepstow GWENT LOCAL HISTORY Formerly "Presenting Monmouthshire" No. 54 Spring 1983 EDITORIAL This month of March is the official start to the 1983 Festival of Welsh Castles which will run until the end of the year. The idea for the Festival came originally from the Wales Tourist Board, but all over Wales local societies, individuals, councils and schools are working hard to make this a year to remember castles. In Gwent, exhibitions of paintings about castles, historical pageants, "living history" tableaux, "mediaeval" fairs and even open-air concerts will all help to bring some extra life to those grand old ruins, which, although having instant appeal to many, are sometimes felt to be rather dead. It is difficult to visualise now how busy a castle would have been and how very labour-intensive Mediaeval day- to-day life really was. We can perhaps hope that this year's flurry of activity will encourage even casual visitors to return with renewed interest to the castles, looking at them as part of everyone's local history, not just as the remote homes of privileged "lords and ladies". The Gwent Local History Council's 1982 One Day School was held on 2nd October at Trellech. The speaker was Mr. J. Soulsby who gave a most interesting account of the 13th century foundation of Trellech by the de Clare family, and its subsequent history. It had a short heyday as one of the eight largest Mediaeval boroughs, and seems to have declined fairly rapidly. In the afternoon members of the One Day School were shown St. Nicholas' Church by the Rector, and then walked around Trellech to view the possible 13th century layout of the town, the motte and also the Virtuous Well. This was such a popular day that there were unfortunately not enough places for everyone who wished to attend. Thanks go to the Secretary, Arthur Davies, for organising this event as there is no Trellech local history society. The Annual General Meeting of the Gwent Local History Council was held in November at Chepstow, when the Chairman, Miss Sage, re-