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Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle, near Usk in South Wales, was "one of the last true castles ever to have been built in England and Wales". It has been called one of the finest late-medieval buildings in the British Isles. (The picture above is taken from an old postcard view and shows the entrance covered with ivy - now removed.) The castle site is still dominated by the ruins of the Great Tower, originally built by Sir William ap Thomas who had fought at the Battle of Agincourt. This massive tower was designed as a place of last resort in the first half of the 15th century and its gradual additions made it virtually impregnable. Much more of the original tower would be visible today were it not for the "slighting" by the parliamentarian forces after the siege of Raglan Castle in 1646.  

The Great Tower was partly destroyed by artillery during the siege, but when Raglan was surrendered near the end of the Civil War, a decision was made to demolish the Tower completely. Men were set to work with pickaxes in an attempt to destroy it from the top. This failed, however and two sides were undermined until these partially collapsed. The impressive remains still stand - testimony to the great building skills of the day.  

John Weston 

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