Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004

This building was once both Priory and Parish Church. Its core is the early Norman Tower.  The Benedictine Priory was founded c.1160 by Richard 'Strongbow' le Clare, and the nun's church ran east and west of the tower, with the transepts north and south.  The parish used the westerly part of the nave behind a screen or pulpitum. The conventual buildings lay to the south.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

The next phase was the building of the north nave to form a Parish Church, when the dividing wall was made into an arcade with round columns and pointed arches.

This building was VERY dark inside, so I apologise for the quality of the internal photographs. The fine 15th century screen was refurbished and painted in 1877.  On its eastern side is an old brass memorial in ancient Welsh to Adam of Usk,  a priest, chronicler and benefactor of St Mary's, who died in 1420.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTCPriory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

After the Glyndwyr rising and the burnings of Usk in 1405 there was much rebuilding. The large perpendicular windows were inserted, the two porches built, and later in the 15th century the screens were added.  After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 when Roger Williams became owner of the Priory, the chancel and transepts were demolished.  During the 18th century a schoolroom stood on the site of the north transept.

In 1844 the south nave was extended west to house a gallery with organ and choir, but this was taken down in 1877 and the original organ moved to its present location. Here is the organ with its beautiful painted pipes and unusual forward facing Spanish trumpets. The Organ was brought from Llandaff Cathedral in 1899.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

A chancel was formed in the tower crossing with a mock-Norman groined vaulted ceiling.  The timber barrel vaulted ceiling with golden bosses was erected in 1900. The communion rail is Jacobean and in the east window of 1913 is a depiction of the Priory Seal showing the Virgin Mary and Child.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

The font is Norman on a later base and its lid is the sounding board of the original Jacobean three-decker pulpit.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

Here is the ancient chest which contained the parish records before they were moved to the County Archives Office.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

The final view is of the building from the east.

Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales - 28th September 2004 - MTC

I do have photographs of the (large!) stained glass windows, but the reduction necessary to show them here makes  the images less than useful.  Contact me if you would like to see them.

Digital photographs


Visitors to this album since June 2003


This is a page from the Roughwood British Churches Album

If you would like to purchase any of the images featured here or commission others of this church, please click here.

If you found this page using a search engine or other link, please use the icons below to link to one of the main sections of the Roughwood web site:

Click here to view the Roughwood Photograph Album
Photo Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Antique Postcard Album
Postcard Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Mill Album
Mill Album

Click here to return to the Roughwood Homepage
Homepage

Click here to view the Roughwood Garden Album
Garden Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Churches Album
Church Album

Click here to view the Roughwood genealogy pages
Genealogy

Google
 
Web www.roughwood.net

Please do not reproduce or store any of the pictures on this site without asking first.