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(A description written in 1891)

TrelleckChurch1aA Parish and Village on the old road from Monmouth to Chepstow, 5.1/2 miles south from Monmouth, 9 north from Chepstow and 4 west from Bigsweir station on the Wye Valley & Coleford line of the Great Western railway; in the Southern division of the county, Hundred of Raglan, Trellech is Head of a Petty Sessional division, in the Union and County Court district of Monmouth, Raglan & Trellech Highway district; eastern division of Usk rural deanery, Monmouth archdeaconry, and Llandaff diocese.

The church of St. Nicholas is a large building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with lofty spire, containing 3 bells: near the church is a curious sundial, erected in 1689: an antique cross, and a somewhat singular tomb stand in the churchyard: the church has 400 sittings. The register of Baptisms and Burials dates from the year 1763; Marriages, 1773. The living is a vicarage, £310 yearly tithe rent-charge, gross yearly income £250 with 12 acres of glebe at Trellech and residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1888 by the Rev. Henry Ardern Lewis M.A. of Hertford College, Oxford. Parish Clerk: George Vaughan.

There are two chapels for Wesleyans and two for Bible Christians.

TrelleckChurch2aCharities amounting to £24 yearly are distributed in money.


A School Board of 5 members was formed in 1875, for the United District of Trellech civil parish & township:

Hon. Clerk to the Board & Attendance officer: George Vaughan

Board School, built in 1871, at a cost of £1.000, for 90 children; average attendance, 70; Mrs. Miriam Finch, mistress.

Endowed School (mixed), with an income of £33 & one acre of land for the mistress, left in 1686 by the Rev. Zachy-Babington, and derived chiefly from 16 acres of land; Mrs. Susannah Williams, mistress.

Post Office: Alfred Franklin, receiver. Letters from Monmouth arrive at 8.10 a.m; dispatched at 5.15 p.m. The nearest money order office is at Llandogo & telegraph office is at Tintern. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid.

Trellech was anciently a place of great importance, and is supposed to have been the site of large town: it is situated on the summit of a hill, and derives its name of Trelech - the "Town of Stones," from three Stone Pillars which stand in a small field: tradition states that they were erected by Harold in commemoration of a victory over the Britons: they are respectively eight, ten & fifteen feet high, slightly inclining to the east. The whole of this district was formerly a dense forest, and it is probable that these stones are relics of Druidism, and that the spot whereon they stand was included within the precincts of a consecrated grove. In the vicinity of these stones is a celebrated chalybeate spring, called "The Virtuous Well." In the Village is a tumulus, supposed to be of Roman origin, encircled by a moat, and it was subsequently the site of some fortified building. The scenery is wildly romantic.

Cleiadon (or Cleddon) Hall is the seat of Mrs. Bosanquet.

The Duke of Beaufort K.G. who is lord of the manor, Colonel Rumsey J.P., George Griffin Griffin Esq. J.P., Mrs. Margaret Price, and the Rev. Henry Ardern Lewis M.A., are the principal landowners. The soil is sandy loam; subsoil, sandstone and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and turnips. The area is 4,999 acres of land and 2 of water; rateable value £3,179.

The population in 1881 was, Trellech civil parish, 752; and Trellech township, 124.

Photos of St Nicholas Church © Paul Berndt

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




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