Welcome to the Chepstow – Cormeilles Twinning Association


Chepstow’s link with Cormeilles dates right back to the Norman Conquest, when Chepstow Castle was established in 1067 by William Fitz-Osbern, Knight of Cormeilles. The Priory and Church of St Mary were founded at the same time as a dependent house of the Abbey of Cormeilles.

Cormeilles is a small, pretty, rural town in Normandy and easily accessible from the ports of Caen or Le Havre. The area is noted for its cheese, dairy industry, cider, and Calvados – which is distilled in the town itself. The seaside resorts of Honfleur and Deauville are half an hour away.


The present twinning arrangement dates back to 1972 when Abbé Meron from Cormeilles visited Chepstow and met Canon Barrie Evans. As a result, Canon Evans took a coach party to Cormeilles. In1975 the Chepstow town council invited Cormeilles to become officially twinned with Chepstow. The twinning oath was signed in Cormeilles in 1976 by the Mayor of Chepstow. Regular visits by families and schoolchildren began, and in 1977 the Chepstow – Cormeilles Twinning Association was officially founded in order to consolidate the established links. The family exchanges continue to take place annually over the August Bank Holiday weekend.


Every ‘even’ year it is Chepstow’s turn to welcome the French guests for 5 nights. The committee compiles a programme of events such as a welcome reception addressed by the Mayor, a day out to a place of interest, a meal, and various forms of entertainment. There is a ‘free’ day for the hosting families to do as they wish. Often people team up to organise something amongst themselves; others prefer a quiet time with their guests to recharge their batteries… it all works out one way or another. There is usually a get-together beforehand for hosts to ensure that they are all integrated into the association. This is also an opportunity for new hosts to discuss any concerns with the more experienced.

When it comes to our turn to visit Cormeilles the programme is run along similar lines and members stay with a French family. Although the twinning association is based in Chepstow we have members living as far afield as Cwmbran, Newport, Trelleck and the Forest of Dean.


Social and fund-raising events are organised throughout the year in order to finance the visit by the French. Traditionally this starts in January with the ‘Munch and Punch’, followed by the Duck Race at Mounton Brook in March. A summer BBQ is a regular feature as is the Christmas Dinner. Other events have included wine-tasting, Café René at the Chepstow festival, and a car treasure hunt. A recent innovation has been a series of French film nights, which have proved very popular.

The aim of the association is to develop and strengthen cultural links and understanding between the two towns. Membership is open to anyone who supports these aims, whether or not you speak French. A newsletter is regularly circulated to all of the families who form the association.

Our families often form lasting friendships with French families.  We welcome new members! Please contact the Chairman, Isabelle Roberts 07967 273157 or email chepstowtwinning@gmail.com




6 responses to “About

  1. These photographs of Cormeilles look great! I’m very much looking forward to my first visit at the end of August!

  2. 2 things…

    Firstly : What date in March is the Duck Race? Myself and my daughter try to support this lovely event every year.

    Secondly: If you require ideas or help with fundraising I may be able to help as I help organise events ie Xmas Shopping evenings I am part of a company called Simply Christmas and attend lots of fundraising events throughout the year. My contact number is 07794 122298 and you can look on the the web site for Simply Christmas and we do other non Christmas items all year .

  3. Hello
    My name is Ben Baillie (Welshman) but i live in Pont Audemer Normandy not far from Cormielles and i saw an article in the local paper about your visit; i have written a series of small books about the Normans and one about them in Wales INTO THE DRAGONS LAIR see the link attached http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-6302534-1957504?url=search-alias%3Daps&field- If anyone is interested please contact me for more details mekeywords=benjamin+james+baillie+#/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=benjamin+james+baillie&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Abenjamin+james+baillie

  4. Regarding the comment about the model of St Marys Church ,Chepstow, My father Harold Beddow , made two models of the church ,one of which stayed in Chepstow church but was never looked after and the second one was taken to Cormeilles. Looking at the photograph of the Cormeilles model I think it is Dads model and if you have any other photos that I could see I may be able to say if it is Dads model.

    Sam Beddow tel>01291623632

    • Hi Sam, that’s really interesting! I do have another photo which I’ll send you, and will see if anyone else has some too. How wonderful to have possibly found the creator of the model – the power of the internet!! Thank you so much, Christine

  5. Grant Blacker

    Good afternoon, nice to see your duck race went well. We are organising a duck race ourself tomorrow but have been let done an our ducks havnt arrived. We are trying everything we can and was wondering if you had your ducks and if they would be available to us?? Any help would be gratefully received

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