Grant application to fund new plaques

Update: 27 November 2020. UNFORTUNATELY, THE BID TO THE HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND FOR A GRANT TO PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION PLAQUES WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. HOWEVER, THE SOCIETY IS NOW LOOKING AT WHETHER IT IS ABLE TO COMMISSION A SMALLER NUMBER OF PLAQUES ITSELF.

The Society is supporting a bid to the Heritage Fund, for a grant to prepare and install further plaques around the town (including outlying areas of the town, within Wales), to mark locations of historical importance. 

The outcome of the bid will be known in mid-November.

A successful bid would support six “blue plaques” to mark sites occupied or used by notable individuals – plus six ceramic wall tiles with information on sites and buildings of historic interest.  They would supplement the existing plaques around the town.

As the bid document says, “The historic town of Chepstow has many untold stories, with many nearly forgotten extraordinary individuals.  This project aims to reveal some of them and permanently place them in the public eye.”

Although we already have some ideas as to possible sites – and thank you to those members who have  made suggestions – we would welcome more ideas. 

In due course, if the bid succeeds, there will be a process of consultation on the final plaque locations. 

If you have any suggestions, please email Guy Hamilton.

St Kingsmark

The new ceramic information plaque installed by the Chepstow Society to mark the site of a forgotten medieval Priory was unveiled on Wednesday 7th October 2020.

The plaque commemorates the small Augustinian Priory of St Kingsmark or Kynemark – originally a local Welsh saint named Cynfarch, whose church had been in the area.

St Kynemark’s Priory was founded before 1270, and functioned until Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1534.

The Priory’s stones were used in later farm buildings, and there is now nothing to be seen of it above ground. Excavations in the early 1960s, before the houses on Kingsmark Lane and Normandy Way were built, uncovered evidence of three monastic ranges, but no church.

The plaque has been designed by local artist Keith Underwood, and made by ceramicist Ned Heywood. It has been installed at the top (north-west) end of the footpath leading from Kingsmark Lane down to St Kingsmark Avenue.

The plaque was unveiled on 7th October by Society chairman Geoff Sumner, incoming Society president Henry Hodges, and plaque maker Ned Heywood.

A free short information leaflet about St Kingsmark (or Kynemark) Priory is available on request from the Society, or as a download.