The Chestnuts

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QR Plaque
W.I. Hampshires, 1930's

Wanted, an experienced SHOEING and GENERAL SMITH. Must be well up in agricultural work, Constant Job. Must be strictly sober, E. MATTHEWS and Son, Raglan (Hereford Journal, March 18, 1899)

The Chestnuts is actually 60 years older than the Baptist Church next door. The original Chestnuts property included the three buildings south of Raglan Baptist Church. For nearly 200 years, the Matthews family were ironmongers and blacksmiths at The Chestnuts. In 1841, when James Matthews was 65 years old, he is listed in the Raglan Tithe record as the owner and resident of lot 513 consisting of a freehold house, blacksmith shop and orchard on Usk Rd. By 1901, both parents had died and James MATTHEWS, the eldest son inherited the Chestnuts ironmonger business. The Matthews family are buried in a set of three gravestones in St Cadoc's Churchyard.

In the 20th Century, Mr W.I. Hampshire took over the Chestnut garage. He expanded the business to do a bit of everything. Hampshires made chicken cots and deep litter houses. They bought and sold wood. They sold petrol any time of the day or night so that people could stop by and get service. They even made and sold coffins.

But that isn't all. The Midlands bank from Usk would come every Friday and hold its business for the day in the sitting room of the Chestnuts!

The Chestnut trees are gone now and so is the Ironmongery. It seems that the tree roots got into the gas tanks and one day there was a big hole where the pumps should have been. Shortly thereafter the Chestnut Trees were cut down.

Today the Ironmongery has been divided into three buildings: a private residence called 'The Chestnuts, and two other buildings - a private dwelling called 'Castle House' and Andrew Bayliss Hair Design

The Chestnuts In 1989, The Wakelings of The Chestnuts founded Theatr Ffynnon a theatre company for people with special needs

Castle House (on the left of The Chestnuts) housed a coffee shop as well as "Castle Catering" 30+ years ago.

More history…

Go to: Ebenezer Chapel

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