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Evidence of a Bronze Age boatbuilding community, including three 100 feet (30 m) long channels adjoining the site of a now-vanished lake, was discovered in September 2013, during archaeological investigations by the Monmouth Archaeological Society of the Parc Glyndwr housing development site, immediately north-west of the town.

Oak timbers had been "skillfully" cut with stone or flint axes to form stilts, of posts and poles, which "probably" rested on three parallel fully-grown tree 'sleeper beams', up to 3 feet 3 inches (1 m) wide, laid horizontally on the lakebed.

A new castle was built at Monmouth, holding commanding views over the surrounding area from a sound defensive site and exerting control over both river crossings and the area's important resources of farmland, timber and minerals.

Initially it would have been a motte and bailey castle, later rebuilt in stone, and refortified and developed over time.

Archaeologists have found Roman pottery and coins within the modern town centre.

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The town was originally known in Welsh as Abermynwy ("mouth of the Monnow"), replaced by Trefynwy ("Monnow town" – the initial m of Mynwy mutating in Welsh to f pronounced /v/) by the 1600s.

The town is 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Cardiff, and 113 miles (182 km) west of London.

It is within the Monmouthshire local authority, and the parliamentary constituency of Monmouth.

Charters from the period refer to the town's trade in iron, and to forges making use of local ore and charcoal.

The cinders produced by the forges formed heaps, and were used in building foundations; the name of Cinderhill Street in Overmonnow dates from this period.

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