m6Flag of St David



(A description written in 1891)

A Parish and Village, on the river Monnow, which bounds the parish on the north-east, and separates it from the county of Hereford, and stands on the north-eastern confines of the county, near the main road from Abergavenny to Hereford, and a short distance from the northern base of the Graig Mountain; it is 3 miles south-east from Pontrilas station, on the Newport & Hereford section of the Great Western railway, 11 north-east from Abergavenny, 14 miles from Monmouth by road and 14 south from Hereford; in the Northern division of Skenfreth, Union of Dore, County Court district of Hereford, north-western division of Abergavenny rural deanery, Monmouth, archdeaconry, and Llandaff diocese.

Parliamentary powers have been obtained for an extension of the Golden Valley railway from Pontrilas to Monmouth, which will pass through this parish.

The church of St. Nicholas is a cruciform stone structure, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, spacious nave, aisles, transepts with aisles, side chapel, north porch and a central octagonal tower with spire, containing 6 bells: it was built during the 13th century by Eleanor of Provence, Queen of Henry III, under the directions of a French architect, and partakes largely of the style of that country and period: the chancel, as an example of the Early English style, has scarcely a parallel in any of the rural parishes: there is a Norman font; the church was restored 1870 to 1875 and again in 1886: the restorations comprised the chancel, transepts, Queen Eleanor's Chapel and rebuilding of the piers and arches of the tower: in 1886 the nave was thoroughly restored at the sole cost of John Allan Rolls Esq. D.L., J.P. and a handsome screen of oak and glass erected by the same donor, presenting to view a perfect vista of the whole of the interior; only the transepts and chancel are used for divine service: there are 90 sittings: in the churchyard is a mutilated effigy of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, who was born at the Castle of Grosmont; the figure is of heroic size, clad in armour and bearing a kite-shaped shield. The register dates from the year 1589. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £201, gross yearly value £276 with residence, in the gift of E Starke Esq. and held since 1884 by the Rev. Charles Alexander Wesley. Parish Clerk: George Sayce.

Here are places of worship for Catholics, Primitive Methodists and The Brethren.

This place was formerly incorporated and governed by a mayor, and had a market: the old Market Hall, erected in 1832, being now disused for its original purpose, is used for public meetings and for a Sunday school. There are endowments and charities for school and other purposes.

Some remains of an ancient entrenchment may be seen at Campston. The Castle of Grosmont, it is supposed, was named Rosslyn Castle, a corruption of the Celtic name Rosllwyn, [rose-bush]; an interesting tradition speaks of the fortress as the "Castle of the Red Rose," and suggests that the Lancastrian party assumed this badge, or symbol, not only from the name of the castle, but from the profusion of red roses growing spontaneously in every brake on this beautiful spot. In early times Grosmont was much subjected to sudden surprises and incursions from the Welsh. Henry III and his Queen are said to have occasionally resided at their castle at Grosmont, which afterwards became a favourite residence of the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster, and still, with the surrounding neighbourhood, forms a part of this Duchy.

Post & M.O.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office - Joseph James Cole, postmaster. Letters from Pontrilas R.S.O. (Herefordshire) arrive at 9.30 a.m; dispatched at 5.30 p.m; Pontrilas is also the nearest telegraph office.

Police officer - Joshua Pritchard


This parish is included in the United School Board District of Skenfreth, formed in 1874.

Board School, erected in 1877, for 120 children; average attendance, 56; Joseph Abbott, master.

Board School, New Inn, erected in 1877, for 60 children; average attendance, 50; William Millham, master.

The Duke of Beaufort K.G. is lord of the manor. The principal landowners are T.W.W. Trumper Esq., Mrs Williams, James Graham Esq. J.P., William Arthur Sparrow Esq. J.P., Edward Kendal Edmonds Mardon Esq, J.P, Henry Dixon Esq. and Godfrey Radcliffe Esq. The soil is red clay and loam; subsoil, marl. The chief crops are wheat and oats, barley and some land in pasture. The area is 6,668 acres; rateable value, £5,520.

The population in 1881 was 703.

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




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