IN the run up to the launch of Newport Rising’s graphic novel, the hotel at the centre of the Chartist Uprising has been 'graffitied' with picture excerpts conveying the doomed march.

Westgate Hotel, on Newport’s Stow Hill, has been vacant for more than 15 years.

But the legendary building was immortalised for its importance in the Chartist uprising of 1839, which saw thousands march on the town of Newport.

The 'Chartists' drew up a charter with ‘six points’ which demanded: universal male suffrage, the removal of the property qualification for MPs, annual elections, equal constituency sizes, payment for MPs and secret ballots in elections.

Around 22 demonstrators were killed after soldiers inside the hotel opened fire, and the leaders of the uprising were convicted of treason.

Now, the Westgate is finally reopening its doors to the public.

On Friday, July 12, it will be used to launch a new graphic novel - based on the 1839 rebellion.

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.


David Daniel, helping to organise the event, said that the artwork details a reimagining of the Uprising.

South Wales Argus:

(The graffiti on Westgate Hotel for the launch of Newport Rising's graphic novel)

“We took the original story and set it in a contemporary world,” he added.

“The artwork tells the story of the events leading up to the march, inspired by Japanese manga.

“It’s in a comic book style to reach those who might not pick up a history book, and also features relatable characters.”

Richard Lovell, also helping to organise the event, said: “I think it’s amazing that the owners have allowed a little bit of life to come back to the building.

“In my lifetime it was only ever a nightclub, but for previous generations it was a hotel and ballroom, we want to bring back life to the building so the next generation can make new memories there.

“Let’s hope this event can put Westgate back on the map.”

The novel launches this Thursday, July 11, at the Westgate Hotel.

The public can visit the venue between then and July 20, when Chartist artwork and the new novel will be available to view and buy.

Getting the artwork on the hotel was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information on OCH, visit their website at