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Monmouth Castle
Monmouth Castle

There are 53 Grade I listed buildings in Monmouthshire, a county and principal area of Wales. In the United Kingdom, the term "listed building" refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. Listing was begun by a provision in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. Once a building is listed, strict limitations are imposed on the modifications allowed to its structure or fittings. The Grade I listed buildings in Monmouthshire consist of twenty-four churches, a priory and an abbey, eight castles, seven houses, two bridges, a barn, a cross, a farm, a folly, a gatehouse, a hotel, a municipal building, a stables, and two elements of town walls. Notable people associated with Monmouthshire's Grade I listed buildings include Henry V, born at Monmouth Castle (pictured) in 1387; the medieval soldier and statesman William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who undertook major construction at Chepstow Castle; and Henry Somerset, 1st Marquess of Worcester, who entertained his king at Raglan, and lost the castle at the end of the First English Civil War. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Guion Bluford

Guion Bluford (born November 22, 1942) is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut, who is the first African American and the second person of African descent to go to space. Before becoming an astronaut in 1978 as part of NASA Astronaut Group 8, Bluford was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he remained while assigned to NASA, rising to the rank of colonel. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger on the mission STS-8, he became the first African American in space, as well as the second person of African ancestry in space, after Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.

This picture of Bluford is his official NASA portrait, taken in 1992, the year of his final mission, STS-53. He is depicted in his Launch Entry Suit and holding the helmet.

Photograph credit: NASA; retouched by Coffeeandcrumbs

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