Pantygelli lies about 2 miles north of the market town of Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, which nestles in the valley of the River Usk surrounded on three sides by hills forming the southern end of the Black Mountains.


This area of South Wales has been settled since Neolithic times and a long glacial mound provided an easily defended site for the first settlers about 6,000 years ago.   Settlement in the area continued under the Romans who occupied a fort, known as Gobannium (the place of the Ironsmiths), which was halfway along the route between the Roman fortresses at Caerleon and Brecon.


Many of the castles of the area were built during the Norman occupation, including that at Abergavenny which was started in 1087 by Hamelin de Ballon.


By the 12th Century the castle had been rebuilt in stone to control the river crossing and protect the lines of communication and supply in the Usk Valley.   Six Norman families held the castle and surrounding areas under the lordship of Abergavenny: the de Ballons, de Braoses, Canteloupes, Hastings, Beauchamps and Nevills.


The area witnessed much warfare between the Norman Lords and the Welsh and the castle was the scene of a particularly gruesome massacre still remembered to this day.   On Christmas Day 1177 the local lord William de Braose, being determined to rid himself of all Welsh opposition, invited Sitsyllt of Castle Arnallt near Usk plus his warriors and other Welsh Chiefs to a great banquet.   There, when they were wined and weaponless, he slaughtered the lot and then topped it off by trekking off to Castle Arnallt where he killed Sitsyllt’s young son still in his mothers arms and burnt the Castle to the ground.


Abergavenny Castle itself was finally sacked by the great Welshman Owen Glyndwr in 1404. First built in the 15th century, the Crown at Pantygelli later became a stopover along the original road that ran from Abergavenny to Hereford.   Over the years the building was substantially changed and the current frontage dates from the Georgian era.


Today the pub is set on a quiet country lane which is easily accessible and it is reputed to have its own resident ghost.   On a hot summer day the flower decked patio is particularly attractive as the evening sun begins to sink, lighting up the nearby sandstone cliffs of the Skirrid Mountain a vivid red brown.


Local Information Sites: The Crown at Pantygelli is close to the Black Mountains in an ideal location to explore the beautiful Wye Valley, Welsh Border Country and the Brecon Beacons.


Closer to home, Abergavenny hosts a range of regular markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays plus a Flea Market on Wednesdays, a Craft Market on the 2nd Saturday of the month and an Antiques Market on the 3rd Saturday of the month.


There are many activities available throughout the area and hosts Nick and Amy will be only too happy to advise