We discovered a wonderful wassail event, the last of the winter as far as we know, organised by the Widders Morris down in Chepstow and were delighted to join them. We travelled down through the middle marches, which is always a lovely drive in the winter with beautiful balls of mistletoe hanging high in the trees as we passed through Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. We made a stop in Monmouth to visit the fortified medieval bridge and charming church of St Thomas the Martyr alongside, then on to the spectacular Raglan Castle before reaching Chepstow as evening arrived. After unpacking and having a wander through the streets we headed to the Chepstow Castle pub and a friendlier welcome we could not have wished for. The landlord gave us a brief history of that part of town, the music events that happen there and what to expect in the Wassail the following day.
In the morning we explored the castle, which we had visited before, but it really is one of the best, having everything a castle should have. Cadw had done a great job with their recent recreating of a medieval room in all of its vivid colours.
Then we explored the local museum, which has a wonderful collection of social and industrial history which would be the envy of many much larger establishments, then a bit more meandering before it was time to put on the medieval kit and head down to the lower part of the town again where we returned to the Castle pub and met up with the many morris sides and other groups attending the wassail.
We wassailed the old apple tree and watched dance and folk plays.