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.