THE hotel at the centre of the Chartist uprising will open its doors for the first time in more than a decade next month to celebrate the launch of a new graphic novel inspired by the doomed march.

Westgate Hotel, on Newport’s Stow Hill, which has been unoccupied since the early 2000s, will welcome in the public for the launch of Chartist-inspired graphic novel Newport Rising.

South Wales Argus:

(Newport Rising graphic novel cover. Picture: Our Chartist Heritage)

The publication was written and illustrated by local artist Josh Cranton, and commissioned by Our Chartist Heritage (OCH), the charity behind last year's Newport Rising festival.

The Westgate Hotel is known for its significance in the 1839 Newport Rising, which saw thousands of Chartists march from the Gwent Valleys to Newport, hoping to free political prisoners as part of a national movement to win the vote for the working man.


22 Chartists were shot dead outside Westgate Hotel, including 18-year-old George Shell, and this tragedy is what inspired the Newport Rising graphic novel.

South Wales Argus:

(Part of Newport Rising graphic novel. Picture: Our Chartist Heritage)

Ownership of the hotel has changed hands many times since, but the current owners are working in partnership with OCH to celebrate the building’s history.

South Wales Argus:

(Westgate Hotel. Picture: Kamila Jarczak)

Following the novel’s launch, on July 12, new uses for the building will be explored, including public exhibitions and a heritage information centre.

The building is in need of refurbishment and restoration – the owners and OCH hope to achieve this with help from Newport City Council.

South Wales Argus:

(David Daniel with Patrick Drewett and Dr. Melinda Drowley from OCH)

Project Development Officer for OCH, David Daniel, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be able to host this launch event at the Westgate Hotel, the site of the dramatic historical events that are absolutely central to the Chartists’ cause and the character of Newport today.

“The impact of the sacrifices made by the Chartists was ultimately felt all over the world and remains in the hearts and minds of Newport's citizens.

“We are incredibly thankful to the owner for his support and vision in forging this partnership so that we can work together, in the spirit of the Chartists, to bring about this positive change."

South Wales Argus:

(Westgate Hotel. Picture: Kamila Jarczak)

Newport Rising graphic novel will launch at Westgate Hotel on July 12.

The public can show their support by visiting the venue between then and July 20, when Chartist artwork and the new novel will be available to view and buy.

For more information on OCH visit their website at