The main part of the St Nicholas Church is of local Old Red Sandstone, with a three-stage tower. The spire can be seen for several miles around.
A church on this site, probably a wooden structure, was endowed by Ffernfael ap Ithel and Meurig ap Tewdrig who were rulers of Gwent in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Preaching Cross in the churchyard may date back to this time, as may the font. The present building dates from the 13th or early 14th century. The early English Gothic stonework has been dated to between 1225 and 1272, and that of the Decorated Gothic up to 1350. The church has a large clerestoried nave, with a much smaller chancel. The interior has a spendidly high tower arch, and the five-bay nave has arcades on octagonal piers.
The altar rails and pulpit, dated 1640, are survivals of 17th century church interior design. At the west end of the church, directly below the window, is a Royal Coat of Arms for King Charles II dated 1683. Records are held by the church dating from 1692. Complete lists of vicars, from 1359, and churchwardens, from 1763, can be found in the entrance to the south aisle.
When the weathercock was removed from the spire in 1972 it was found to have been made in Ross-on-Wye in 1792. The original spire fell, damaging the roof of the nave, and a contemporary reference attributes this to 'lightning and storms'. In the belfry the cage housing the three bells is of a type similar to that found in others constructed about the year 1700. At the end of the last century the church was in a neglected state and was extensively renovated and re-roofed. The Belgian slates then in place were replaced with Welsh slates in 1961. The chancel was replastered in 1972 and painted white. During 1974 considerable repairs were undertaken to the north and south aisles, and in 2001 the majority of the churchyard dry-stone wall was removed and rebuilt.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.