CASTELL NEWYDD AR WYSG A NEW CASTLE ON THE USK by C. E. Smith This paper was recently submitted to the University of Wales College, Newport as part of an undergraduate study into the history of Newport castle. It aims to provide a brief assessment of Newport Castle, Monmouthshire (ST 312 885) by investigating the documentary evidence detailing the history of the castle and, from this, an attempt is made to provide a succinct review of the site's chronology. The summary will compile all the discussed evidence into a concise evaluation of Newport castle and its wider medieval environment. Newport castle is located in the centre of Newport immediately facing the river Usk (See Fig 1 right). Newport Bridge and High Street run to the south of the castle with Shaftesbury Street to the west. The Bridge of the Great Western Railway runs to the north of the castle, almost touching the castle's north tower. Owing to the castle's location in the centre of the city it has suffered damage in recent years through urban development and despite being a scheduled monument, is still prone to vandalism. Access to the castle is largely unrestricted. Casnewydd (the Welsh name for Newport) is a contraction of Castell Newydd ar Wysg, meaning 'a new castle on the Usk' (Tolcher, 2001, pI2). This name may be a reference to the older castle of William Marshal at Caerleon with Newport being the 'new' castle. More likely it is that it refers to the 'old' castle on top of Stow Hill. The first Castle In 1066 Gwynllwg and northern Gwent were ruled by Caradog ap Gruffydd but after his death in 1081 Glamorgan, including Gwynllwg, was seized by the Normans under Robert fitzHamon (Knight, 2000, Davis, 1998). Gwynllwg was held under FitzHamon by Robert of Hay who, it is believed, was responsible for the founding of the first castle atop Stow Hill close to the church of St. Gwynllyw. Knight (2000)