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Things to do in Cowbridge, South Wales

Cowbridge Physic Gardens © Amanda Davies
Cowbridge Physic Gardens © Amanda Davies

The picturesque, Roman market town of Cowbridge is often refered to as the 'Jewel in the Vale'. Situated in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan 12 miles west of Cardiff. Cowbridge is full of charm and has many small, independant shops to suit all tastes. From clothes to gifts, pubs to restaurants, churches to the town prison cells, there is something for everyone. Why not stop awhile and rest in the peaceful Physic Gardens.

Cowbridge is steeped in history. The Romans built a small fort here in the 1st century which developed into a township by the 4th century. Recent archaeological digs have turned up many Roman relics as well as the foundations of various Roman structures including a bath house. It is thought that Cowbridge might have a claim to being the missing Roman fort of Bovium.

In 1254 one Sir Richard de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan granted the town it's first charter. He built the township more or less as a business venture, renting out the plots of land and leasing them on fixed rents to 'responsible' citizens for business or residential premises. By 1266 Cowbridge had walls around it with four gates, although the North gate appears to have been used mainly for cattle. The south gate exists to this day.

There is plenty of accommodation in the area creating an ideal base for visitors to explore the town and the surrounding areas including the Iimpressive Heritage Coast and the capital city of Cardiff.

Description by Amanda Davies

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