Chepstow castle in Monmouthshire
Artist: Sandby, Paul
Chepstow is a town on the border between England and Wales, on the lowest defensible point on the River Wye. As can be seen in the picture, the Norman castle of Chepstow dominates the landscape, perched on a long, thin craggy clifftop. Built in 1071 by William fitz Osbern, it is one of the earliest castles of its type. William Coxe, a clergyman who visited Chepstow around 1801, noted: "The ponderous remains of the castle form a grand and prominent feature in this diversified scenery; they cover a large tract of land, and stretch along the brow of the perpendicular cliff which impends over the Wye." It was around this time that tours of the Wye Valley reached their height of popularity, with the castle providing a romantic backdrop.