While we know that the town was a Roman fortification between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, it goes off the historical radar until shortly after the Norman invasion. The Normans founded a settlement here and a castle was built in 1068. Monmouth castle is one of three, the other two being Skenfrith and Grosmont to the north, which the Normans built to guard the borderland against Welsh raids. Monmouth also boasts the only surviving Norman fortified bridge.
In 1387 Henry of Monmouth, who became Henry V, was born at Monmouth castle and his famous victory against the French is commemorated around the town with the likes of Agincourt Square.
Many Tudor and Georgian buildings survive today and the Shire Hall is a particularly fine example. Horatio, Lord Nelson was a famous visitor to Monmouth and he is remembered in a museum in the town. Many of the artefacts were collected by the mother of Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce fame), who is another famous son of Monmouth and his statue stands alongside one of Henry V.