Historic Monmouthshire Property Set for Auction

A Georgian town house in the heart of a Monmouthshire town on the site of an hotel where Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson stayed in 1802 has been put up for sale.

The towering four storey property, which dominates Chepstow’s historic Beaufort Square, was most recently used as a branch of  NatWest.

The Grade II listed property also previously the Chepstow Bank and for a time a private home is on the site of the stables of the former Three Cranes Inn where the hero of Trafalgar stayed while on a tour of the area inspecting oaks for the British fleet.

The property, which is now being sold by Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions,  has a guide price of £160,000.

Admiral Nelson stayed at the Three Cranes Inn while inspecting oak trees being grown in the nearby Forest of Dean before returning south to prepare to defeat the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar

In a hard hitting report at the time, the British naval hero who died on board HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar, expressed concern about the supply of timber in the Forest of Dean in 1802, while on his visit to Wales.

Lord Nelson visited Wales and the Forest of Dean in August 1802 while on a pleasure trip with Sir William Hamilton and his wife Emma, Nelson’s mistress.

On their way home they stayed overnight at Chepstow’s long gone Three Cranes Inn, at the top of Hocker Hill Street..

It was while visiting the Forest of Dean, which borders Monmouthshire, that Admiral Nelson called for thousands of acorns to be planted over fears of a shortage of durable wood to build ships for  the Royal Navy. The timber was all being used to make charcoal to fire the industrial revolution.

Horatio Nelson’s scathing, 11-page,  handwritten report about the timber situation in the forest is held at the Nelson Museum in Monmouth.

The imposing property now for sale,  1 Beaufort Square, is bordered on one side by a medieval cobbled trader’s alley, Hocker Hill Street,  and on the other by Middle Street, which both lead down to the River Wye and a bridge across into England.

Debra Bisley, who is handling the sale for Paul Fosh Auctions, said: “It’s a truly marvellous building which is bursting with history and right in the middle of gorgeous Chepstow.

“The historic property would make a fantastic town house, maybe brilliant apartments or wonderful offices, subject to planning.

“We’ve had loads of interest in this unique lot with prospective buyers really intrigues by its history and links to Admiral Nelson. They’re really fired up with what they might do to improve and enhance this extraordinary property.”

The substantial, four storey building with stucco rendered walls under a parapet roof has a forecourt and banking hall on the ground floor with further rooms, offices and stores over the four floors.