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Re-visiting the National Roman Legion Museum - with thoughts about socks, buttons, hair pins, home insurance and revenge.

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Re-visiting the National Roman Legion Museum - with thoughts about socks, buttons, hair pins, home insurance and revenge.  National Roman Legion Museum was handed over to the care of National Museum Wales in 1930 because the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association could no longer maintain the upkeep on the building but the MAA have retained a close relationship. Recently we have seen the Museum pass through difficult times. It was closed last year for work to be carried out on the roof and then had to close in March for the national lockdown due to Covid 19. Recently due to a local lockdown it has closed again. I have visited twice since the reopening and have visited countless times in my life but I am always amazed by what I see.  This time I looked more closely at some of the exhibits and have recorded my thoughts and taken pictures. Interestingly the exhibits had to be removed for the roof to be mended and had to be put back exactly as they were, due to funding commitments, but they …

Musket Balls and Misconceptions by Ray Stroud

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Musket balls and misconceptionsby Ray Stroud
Many youngsters through the years have found it difficult to resist the temptation of squeezing their fingers into the holes in the pillars of the Westgate Hotel.We had all, probably, been regaled with stories of the Chartist attack on the Westgate, and of the musket balls that had penetrated the building during the battle.But were these tales based on truth or myth?In recent years, many in Newport have adopted the ‘myth’ position, arguing that they had been drilled into the pillars at a later date, possibly to attach gates or some other structure. But does that theory line up with the historical evidence?

The portico, which today sadly stands concealed behind sheets of chipboard, is the only remaining feature of a building that was constructed in 1709.Interestingly, it is actually not made of cast iron as many believe, but of wood.This portico was part of a ‘second Westgate Inn’, erected on the site of a fifteenth-century manor house at the …

A Legacy from Newport's Victorian Era

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A Legacy from Newport’s VictorianEra
by Mary Evans


Access to green spaces became a valued part of our lives during lockdown and public parks played a major role in many areas. As I have been walking through Belle Vue Park and Tredegar House Parkland over the past few months it has struck me how their reopening during lockdown was carrying on the tradition of the public park movement of the late 19th Century. Newport reopened its parks on the 18 May this year when initially visitors were limited to a 5 mile radius. The oldest of its parks, Belle Vue, is a legacy of the public park movement which was such a success in the later part of the 19th Century and depended on funding from town and city corporations across Britain.
In the early part of the Victorian era access to public open green spaces would have been a dream for the majority who lived and worked in the dire conditions of the rapidly growing industrialised towns. That is until the 1830s when out of concern for the moral and physi…