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(A description written in 1891)

MG0070r1A Parish on the road from Monmouth to Abergavenny, with a station half a mile east from the village on the Monmouth & Pontypool Road branch of the Great Western railway, 138 miles from London, 8 south-west-by-west from Monmouth and 6 miles from Usk, on the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool railway; it is in the Southern division of the county, Hundred of Raglan and Head of a Petty Sessional division, Union of Monmouth, County Court district of Usk, Raglan & Trellech Highway district; eastern division of the rural deanery of Usk, archdeaconry of Monmouth and diocese of Llandaff.

The church of St. Cadoc is a building of stone in the Early Perpendicular style, and was thoroughly restored in 1868 at an outlay of £2,600, raised by subscription; it consists of chancel with north chapel, nave, aisle, south porch and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing 2 bells and a clock, given by Miss A.M. Bosanquet: the south porch is large and has a multiple stoup: in the Beaufort chapel are monuments to the third Earl of Worcester and other members of the family, many of whom are interred in a vault beneath the chapel, and, amongst others, Edward Somerset, second Marquis of Worcester, the accredited inventor of the steam engine, who died 3rd April, 1667: in 1887 a new organ was erected on the north side of the chancel by subscription: there are 328 sittings. The register of Baptisms and Burials dates from the year 1711; Marriages, 1754. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Books at £4.6s.3d. gross yearly value, from tithe rent-charge £301, with 29 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Duke of Beaufort, and held since 1874 by the Rev. Henry Plantagenet Somerset M.A. of Queen's College, Oxford, who is also vicar of Llandenny. Parish Clerk: Richard Jones.

There is a Baptist chapel, erected in 1818, and a Congregational chapel built in 1812.

Charities: £13.10s is distributed yearly in bread and £6 in small sums.

RaglandCastleBLprint1Raglan Castle, standing on a gently rising eminence a short distance from the village, and occupying a tract of land about one-third of a mile in circumference, is a venerable structure of freestone, erected at different periods, its earliest style not being anterior to the reign of King Henry V, although a castle is said to have been founded here as early as the 12th Century by a member of the family of Clare, Lords of Usk, and the existing keep, supposed to be of the 12th Century, was faced with stone, it is said, in the time of Henry VII. so as to correspond with additions then made: the castle was sold by James, Lord Berkeley (eldest son of Sir James Berkeley and his Lady Elizabeth, the only daughter and heiress of Sir John Bluet), to his step-father, Sir William-ap-Thomas, who, by his second marriage, was the father of William Herbert, whom King Edward IV. created the first Earl of Pembroke of that name, and Lord of Chepstow, Raglan and Gower, in or about the year 1469: it is most probable that the present castle, which occupies the site of a previous one, was founded by this first Earl or by his son William, the second Earl of Pembroke, who having resigned that earldom was created Earl of Huntingdon in the year 1479; it is now the property of the Duke of Beaufort, whose family became possessors of it on the marriage of Sir Charles Somerset with Elizabeth, only daughter of William, Earl of Huntingdon, and heiress of Sir Walter [or William] Herbert.


National School (mixed & infants), foe 120 children; average attendance, 86; Charles James Saunders, master; Miss Jane Jeffreys, assistant mistress.

County Constabulary Station:

John James, sergeant.

Railway Station:

Esau Gray, collector

Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office: Mrs. Sarah Evans Jones, receiver. Letters arrive from Newport at 6.27 a.m. a& 12.35 p.m; dispatched at 5.30 p.m.

The Duke of Beaufort K.G. is lord of the manor. The principal landowners are the Duke of Beaufort, Sir George Chetwynd Bart. and Halswell Milborne Kemeys-Tynte D.L., J.P. The soil is partly sandy, inter-mixed with a loamy clay; subsoil, limestone rock. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and green crops. The area is 4,036A. 2R. 39P; rateable value, £5,382.

The population in 1881 was 772.

An early guide to Raglan Castle download for free from

• Raglanpedia -An essential website for all of you with Raglan ancestors. The St Cadocs churhyard trail is particulary interesting.

• Raglan Domesday website - A searchable repository of Raglan historical records and and memories.

Raglan Castle engraving c.1812 courtesy of & © The British Library

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

St Cadoc's church
St Cadoc's church




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