Village Alive Trust

Churches....

St. Bridget Skenfrith: Built alongside the River Monnow and consecrated in 1208 , this large church with wooden dove-cote topped tower is dedicated to the Irish Abbess Bridget. Its well-kept churchyard adjoins the meadows bordering the river where remains of a medieval quay can be seen. The 3-aisled church has a fine organ, box tomb and wall paintings. It also houses a rare 15th-century Cope. OPEN EVERY DAY. Guide Book. Park in the village. One step into churchyard and step-door at main entrance. Food and toilets nearby.

See also Skenfrith Castle.

St. Cadoc Llangattock Lingoed

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St. James the Elder Llanvetherine: In a churchyard sloping down to the River Trothy and built of Old Red Sandstone with a corbelled tower. Simple interior possibly rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. Lovely timber 'Arts and Crafts' c.1900 pulpit with panels of leafy branches and typical lettering. Interesting monuments including the worn figure of a priest and a life-size relief of a bearded man in academic gown holding a book. Also several tablets by Brute. APPLY FOR ACCESS TO LLANTILLIO CROSSENNY VICARAGE (01600 780240). Park carefully in layby.

St. Mary the Virgin Llanfair Cilgoed: A charming chapel set across fields half a mile off the B4521 between Llanvetherine and Cross Ash. Built in 1853 to replace a derelict chapel on the site of a Cistercian Grange founded by the monks of Abbey Dore, Herefordshire. This simple Grade 2 listed building has plain furnishings unchanged since the early 1900s. Its highlight is a beautiful stained glass east window depicting the Virgin Mary. This image is echoed in a lovely banner worked in gold embroidery over silk collage. ALWAYS OPEN. Guide and display panels (2005).

St. Nicholas Grosmont: This 13th-century Church has many historical features, including its stunning Old Nave. Built in part for the garrison at the Castle this huge building is unique in Monmouthshire. Saved from near collapse and partly rebuilt by John Seddon in the 19th century to the medieval design, this well-used parish church has many important features including a large Crossing supporting the steeple. The elegant chancel has Victorian furnishings, a fine organ complete with hymn rolls and a splendid 13th-century double Piscina. Notice the large unfinished monument of a recumbent knight in the Old Nave. OPEN EVERY DAY Guide Book. Park in the village. Steep path and steps into church. Food and toilets nearby.

See also Grosmont Castle.

St. Teilo Llantilio Crossenny: An unusually grand cruciform church whose spire can be seen for miles. Inside the central crossing that supports the tower dominates and seems to put the chancel at a distance. Many interesting monuments and stained glass, including three windows by Kempe (1887, 1898 and 1909). Notice the fierce stone-carved Green Man in the Chancel. OPEN EVERY DAY. Guide Book. Park near churchyard gate. Disabled access.

St. Teilo Llantilio Pertholey: A large medieval church well used by the community standing apart from the present housing alongside a brook. The three Chantry chapels dating from around 1350 are remarkable. The Triley chapel (north side) and the Wernddu Chapel (south side) have elaborate wooden arcade and arches. The tiny Nevill Chapel just off the Sanctuary has a stone rib vaulted ceiling. APPLY FOR ACCESS TO LLANTILLIO PERTHOLEY VICARAGE (01873 854323). Guide Book. Park in church car park opposite. Disabled access. Toilet rear of church. Food nearby.

Llanthony Abbey: The Abbey of Llanthony stands remotely in the folds of the Black Mountains and though ruins, is still an impressive sight. Shortly before 1100, William de Lacy a relative of the Lord of Ewyas, came across a ruined chapel dedicated to St. David in these wild hills - there is a tradition that Dewi Sant had a hermitage here. Sir William renounced courtly life and devoted himself to prayer and study. He was joined a couple of years later by Ersinius, a former chaplain to the Queen, and with other followers a church was built and consecrated in 1108. A decade later a group of Augustinian canons from England helped to found a priory. With revenue from de Lacy estates in Ireland the building was extended in the 12th and 13th centuries. It enjoyed great prosperity in the 14th century, but declined as a monastic centre by the mid-15th century, eventually being merged in 1481 with its daughter house in Gloucester. The west range was converted in the early 19th century and is an inn today. It is in the care of Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments (no fee).

St. David Llanthony: The story of St. David's church goes back long before the building of the Abbey alongside. Tradition says that Dewi Sant (St. David) lived in this valley for awhile. The name 'Llanthony' is a corruption of Llan-ddewi-nant-honddu meaning the 'llan' of St.David on the River Honddu. The present church is thought to date from 1108, replacing earlier buildings. The altar is sited so that it points to the rising sun on St. David's Day, 1st March. Today, the building is little changed with its thick defensive walls and small windows. OPEN EVERY DAY Guide leaflet. Parking in Llanthony Abbey public car park. Food and toilets nearby.

St. Martin Cwmyoy: The name 'Cwmyoy' or more correctly in Welsh 'Cwmiou' means the Valley of the Yoke, which refers to valley here cutting deep into the mountain in the shape of an oxen's yoke. The church is unique in that no part of it is square or at right angles with any other part. This striking irregularity is accounted for by the geological formation of the underlying rock. The 18th-century Communion Table is still in use. All the wall memorials are worth examining, as are many of the tombstones in the churchyard, which reflect a distinctive artistic cult among the local stonemasons years ago. OPEN EVERY DAY Guide leaflet. Parking and access difficult.

St. Mary the Virgin Abergavenny: Founded in 1087 as a Benedictine priory, the church and beautifully restored remnant of the priory house and tithe barn form an impressive group in the centre of Abergavenny. There is much of interest here, from the magnificent wooden carved Jesse and one of the finest series of medieval monuments in Britain to the full complement of monastic choir stalls. OPEN EVERY DAY Guide Book. Park in public car park off bus station (fee payable). Disabled access. Food and toilets nearby.