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.

Because of the pandemic, the Society is unable to hold its normal monthly meetings in the Drill Hall at present.

HOWEVER…

We hope to restart holding meetings in September, by using Zoomhttps://zoom.us/

Details of how to access the meetings will be circulated to Society members in due course.

The meetings which we currently hope to hold in this way are…

Wednesday 16th September

Dr. Sarah Barber –

The Life of Henry Marten


Wednesday 21st October

Paul Barnett –

The Mulberry harbours

Further information will be available nearer the time.

For information about membership please contact Marian Thomas
 

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND MEETINGS

We do not know when we will be able to start our monthly meetings again, or hold the AGM which is due in May.

The Society’s current officers continue to exchange views with one another, and in due course will take the decisions needed. 

For the time being, all existing subscriptions remain valid.  There is no need to try to renew your subscription at present. 

We will review the position in due course.

The likelihood is that the formal AGM business, including the appointment of officers and the approval of our annual financial statement, will take place at the start of the next meeting, whenever that is.

St Kingsmark Priory



A new ceramic plaque is to be installed by the Chepstow Society to mark the site of a forgotten medieval Priory.

The plaque will commemorate the Augustinian Priory of St Kingsmark – originally a Welsh prince and local saint named Cynfarch or Kynemark, whose 7th century church was in the area.  This was some 400 years before the Normans built Chepstow Castle and the Priory that became St Mary’s Church.

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

Old maps show that the path roughly follows the southern edge of the old parish of St Kynemark, which centred on the Priory and extended from Crossway Green to the site of The Mount on Welsh Street.

St Kynemark’s Priory itself 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 modern houses on Kingsmark Lane were built – uncovered evidence of three monastic ranges, but no church.

The work to install the plaque and its small plinth will be carried out between now and Christmas, and it is hoped that there will be a formal unveiling in due course.   Monmouthshire County Council has agreed that the installation work be carried out.