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Abergavenny including Hardwick and Llwyndu

(A description written in 1891)

A Market town, Head of a Petty Sessional division, Poor Law Union and County Court district … and is in the Northern division of the county, Hundred of Abergavenny, north-western division of Abergavenny rural deanery, Monmouth archdeaconry and Llandaff diocese.

The Town is on the high-road from London to Brecon … An ancient stone bridge of seven arches crosses the Usk just outside of the town, and near it is a fine iron bridge, over which the London & North Western railway crosses. There are three railway stations: the London & North Western in the Brecon road, the Great Western to the south of the town, and the Abergavenny junction, Great Western & Northern railways to the north.

IronMinerNrAbergavenny1775BLprint1The church of St. Mary, in Monk Street, was formerly the church of the ancient Benedictine Mitred Priory of St Mary, founded by Hamelyn Baludun in the 11th century and by W. de Braose in the time of King John; it is a cruciform building of stone, 172 feet in length, mainly in the Decorated style, with Perpendicular additions, and consists of a presbytery of three bays, 67 feet long, with arches opening into lateral chapels in its western bays, nave, north aisle and an embattled central tower with turret, containing 8 bells: like other Benedictine minsters in Wales, the church was divided between the convent and the parish: the choir was formed under the crossing, and the Decorated nave was of three bays, 45 feet wide, with a north aisle; and the transept, 67 feet in length, had eastern chapels: twenty-four stalls of carved oak remain; there is also an oaken effigy of a knight of the Hastings family: in the church are a number of ancient and curious monuments and effigies, erected to several of the Barons of Abergavenny and to the families of Herbert and Neville; in 1882 the nave and north aisle were restored at a cost of £5,000: there are 710 sittings. The Priory is of great antiquity and adjoins the church: it was a cell of St Vincent's, Mans, and at its suppression had four monks, the yearly revenue being £59; Charles I and Charles II were successively entertained here. The register, which includes those of Hardwick and Llwyndu, dates from 1653. The living is a vicarage, tithes commuted at £502 yearly, without residence, and held since 1863 by the patron, the Rev. Canon Bury Capel M.A. late fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, prebendary of Llandaff, surrogate, and chaplain of the Abergavenny Union. Parish Clerk: George J Burnett, Penydre Place, Hereford road.

Holy Trinity church, in Baker Street, erected and endowed by Miss Herbert, is a modern building of stone in the Late Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north and south porches and a turret containing one bell: there are 500 sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, net yearly value £190, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1881 by the Rev. Jonathan Howell M.A. of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, chaplain of the Joint Counties' Asylum; there is no parochial district attached and no register. [there are possibly registers from 1888-1976 at Gwent Archives - JD]

Christ Church, in North Street, is an iron building, with spire, erected in 1880, at a cost of £930, and will seat 340 persons: the Rev. Reuben Evans, is the curate in charge.

The Catholic Church, dedicated to Our Lady and St. Michael, in Pen-y-Pound, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, erected in 1860, and consisting of chancel, nave and aisles, and has several stained windows; the reredos, erected in 1883, was the gift of John Baker-Gabb Esq., lately of Abergavenny, now of Rome; the subject is St. Michael and All Angels; it contains six large panels and canopy and is altogether an elaborate and costly work of art: there are sittings for upwards of 400 person: Rev. J R Morgan O.S.B.

AbergavennyLittleGreenBook2Map courtesy &

Other Places of Worship:

Baptist, Frogmore street, seating 750: Rev. T.E. Cozens Cooke, minister

Bethany Baptist, Market Street: Rev. Sidney Rogers Young, minister

Primitive Methodist, Victoria Street, seating 200

Wesleyan, Castle Street, seating 300

Presbyterian, Frogmore Street, seating 250

Primitive Methodist, Victoria Street: Rev. Alexander Wade Welford, minister

The Plymouth Brethren, Princes Street, seating 200: ministers various

Congregational, Castle Street, seating 250: ministers various

Wesleyan, Castle Street: Rev. William Taylor, minister

Whitfield Presbyterian, Frogmore Street: Rev. Sylvanua Jones, minister

Christadelphia Synagogue, Lion Street: ministers various

A Cemetery of three acres, with two mortuary chapels, was formed in 1855, at a cost of £20,000, and is under the control of a Burial Board of 9 members, who meet at the Town Hall every quarter.

Grammar School
, St. John's Street, founded by Henry VIII in 1543, occupies the site of the former Parish Church [St. John's]; the embattled tower of the church, which still remains, is of stone and contains a clock; the endowment of the school produces about £200 yearly; James Webber, head master.

Catholic School, Pen-y-Pound, erected in 1873, for 120 children; average attendance, 85; Miss Lizzie Johnson, mistress.

British School, Victoria Street (mixed), for 283 children; average attendance, 149; William Rose, master.

British School, Victoria Street (infants), for 150 children; average attendance, 139; Miss Bessie Slee, mistress.

National School (boys), Hereford Road, for 318 boys; average attendance, 220; Thomas Holland, master.

National School (girls), Castle Street, built in 1866, for 156 girls, average attendance, 149; Miss Isobel Burnett, mistress

National School (infants), erected in 1866, for 183; average attendance, 170; Miss Susan Norman, mistress.

National Trinity School (infants), Baker Street, for 60 girls; average attendance, 55; Miss Maria Jane Llewellyn, mistress.

Newspapers: The Abergavenny Chronicle & Monmouthshire Advertiser: M. Morgan & W.H.P. Scanlon, proprietors; Office, 26 Frogmore Street; published Friday.

Railway Stations:

Abergavenny Junction (L & NW & GW): Ralph Judd, station master

London & North Western, Brecon Road: Henry Rendall Barrett, station master

Great Western, Station Road: Frederick Thomas Angle, station master

from the Greyhound Hotel, High Street, & Angel Hotel, Cross Street, await arrival & attend the departure of every train.

Battey, and Evans & Son, from Great Western railway station: to Crickhowell daily.

The Town Hall, Cross Street, is an elegant building, in the Early English style, at the back of and adjoining which is an excellent and spacious covered Market, conveniently fitted for the sale of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, butter and eggs: this market is always fully supplied, and is well attended by buyers from the hill districts. The market-day is Tuesday; a fruit and vegetable market is held on Friday .......... the Corn Exchange, which is also attached to the Town Hall, has an entrance from Cross Street. The Cattle Market, covering an area of 2.1/2 acres, well and conveniently laid out, is in Lion Street. The Abergavenny Reading Association has rooms in the Town Hall.

The Lunatic Asylum for the counties of Monmouth, Brecon and Radnor is an extensive building of stone, situated on the old Monmouth road, on an eminence near the town; it was erected in 1851, at a cost of £40,000, enlarged at a further cost of £10.000, augmented in 1882-3 at an additional cost of £50,000: the additions of 1882-3 included a handsome chapel of stone, which stands apart in the grounds and consists of chancel, nave and transepts, in the modern style, with central turret containing one bell, north porch and eastern entrance, and has one stained window presented by the architect, and a fine organ, costing £420, presented by the late superintendent, Dr. McCullough; the building cost £3,500. The Asylum now holds 865, present number (1891) 850; and a new block is being added (1891) to hold 55 additional patients.

Here are breweries, corn mills, lime and stone works, iron foundries, engine works and maltings. The Post Office is in Cross Street. There are four Banks, a branch of the National Provincial Bank of England, one of the Capital & Counties Bank Limited, Lloyds Bank Limited, and the Birmingham District & Counties Banking Co. Limited. The County Constabulary have a station in the Grofield. The H Company of the 4th Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers has head quarters in the town.

The Dispensary, in Castle Street, established in 1828, receives an average of 300 patients yearly, and is supported by voluntary subscriptions. A Cottage Hospital was established in 1890, to hold five patients: it is supported by voluntary contributions. The Almshouses, situated on either side of Holy Trinity church, were built and endowed by the late Miss Herbert, of Little Hill House, for the occupation of eight poor persons, each of whom has a weekly allowance of four shillings. The

Abergavenny Club House was erected and opened in 1891: it has about 100 members.

The Marquess of Abergavenny, who is lord of the manor, John Griffiths Wheeley Esq. D.L, J.P. and Lady Llanover are the principal landowners. the area is 4,219 acres of land and 32 of water; rateable value, £41,717.

HARDWICK is a Hamlet, forming the south side of the parish of Abergavenny, one mile from the town.

LLWYNDU is a Hamlet, forming the north side, 1.1/2 miles from the town.

The population of Abergavenny, with the hamlets of Hardwick and Llwyndu, in 1881 was 7,884, which includes 6 officers and 152 inmates in the workhouse, and 599 in the Joint Counties' Lunatic Asylum.

Engraving "View of an of an iron miner and waterfall near Abergavenny" c.1775 courtesy of & © The British Library

(extracts from Kelly's 1891 Directory of Monmouthshire, transcribed by J. Doe)

Photographs unless otherwise credited are © Tony Doe and may not be reproduced commercially without permission

Abergavenny Castle
Abergavenny Castle





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