1067 and All That: The life and castles of William FitzOsbern

The last in the series of Chepstow 950 talks

Rick Turner outside Chepstow Castle (002)

Talk by Rick Turner OBE

Wednesday 26 July, 7.30pm

The Drill Hall, Lower Church St, Chepstow NP16 5HJ

Tickets £5/ £4 concession from Chepstow Museum tel 01291 625981

This Wednesday 26 July, sees the last in the series of talks organised by Chepstow Museum for Chepstow 950. The programme has been arranged to present the latest thinking and research into the Norman Conquest and its aftermath, and the exploits of William FitzOsbern, with a great line-up of experts in the field and excellent speaker, – each covering different ‘territory’ and bringing  their own particular sphere of interest and experience to their talks.

The final presentation will be by Rick Turner OBE and is devoted to the life, exploits and legacy of Chepstow’s first lord, William FitzOsbern, who was responsible for founding Chepstow Castle 950 years ago, its Priory as a ‘daughter’ to the Abbey that he had founded at Cormeilles in Normandy, and the settlement that would grow up around them that would become Chepstow.

William FitzOsbern (who died in 1071) was William the Conqueror’s best friend and closest ally in his invasion of England. Created Earl of Hereford in 1067 he spent the next four years ranging across England, Wales, Normandy and France in support of the Conqueror and the wider interests of the Duchy of Normandy. Along the way he founded a remarkable number of castles and religious houses. He was the first and perhaps the greatest of the lords of Chepstow, yet remains little known compared to William Marshal for example. This lecture will tell his life story and identify what survives of the many castles and priories he founded and discuss if he can be credited with building Chepstow’s famous Great Tower.

Rick Turner is an archaeologist and architectural historian who until recently was an inspector of ancient monuments for Cadw, Welsh Government. He has written about many of the great medieval ruins of Wales and co-edited with Andy Johnson a comprehensive study of Chepstow Castle: its history and buildings (2006). He was awarded an OBE for services to the heritage of Wales in 2012. He is perhaps most famous for his discovery and excavation of Lindow Man, Britain’s first Iron Age bog body. Currently he is studying for a Ph. D. at Swansea University, researching into Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

The talk will be in the Drill Hall, Chepstow on Wednesday 26 July at 7.30pm, tickets can be bought in advance from Chepstow Museum tel 01291 625981



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