The Story of Usk - Norman Market Town

deClare Castles

1154: the accession of Henry II ended 20 years of anarchy (“when God and His angels slept”).

Richard (“Strongbow”) de Clare, the local Marcher Lord, founded the market town (burgh) of Usk. The undercroft of the first market hall still survives as the cellar of Mulberry House opposite Twyn Square.

“Burgage” plots were rented out in in the town – the further from the market centre, the larger the plot available for one shilling’s rent.

De Clare granted a charter for a Priory of Benedictine nuns in Usk. The Priory Church was larger than the present St Mary’s: the sides of the church tower today show where the chancel and north transept of the original church building were attached.