The Parish and Priory Church of St. Mary was founded around 1072 as a Benedictine priory by William FitzOsbern and his son Roger de Breteuil. By the early 12th century, the monastic establishment had the status of an alien priory in its own right, though it probably never held more than about 12 monks. It superseded an earlier Augustinian priory located about 2 km away.
As Chepstow developed as a market town and port around the castle and priory during the medieval period, the nave became used as the parish church. Accommodation was built on the south side of the church, in the 13th century. The priory had extensive grounds, probably including most of the land south of the church enclosed by Chepstow's 13th-century town wall or Port Wall. The priory was eventually suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 during the English Reformation, at which time there were still three monks in residence. Most of the priory buildings, including the choir part of the church, the cloister, chapter house, lodgings and kitchens, were demolished at that time, and the foundations are buried beneath a car park beside the current church. Remains of a large barn and well were also found during excavations in the 1970s.
Part of the Norman church remains, but it has been greatly modified over later centuries. The original Priory Church was built in local yellow Triassic sandstone, with a long vaulted nave, massive piers, and a notably ornamented west entrance doorway with zigzag and lozenge patterns, dating from the early 12th century.
The main central tower of the original church collapsed in a storm in 1701, destroying the transepts. A new wall was then built at the eastern end of the nave, and its western end built up to form a new tower.
The church contains two fonts, one of Norman origin and the other from the 15th century. There are several notable tombs and memorials, including that of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester, and the Jacobean tomb of local benefactor Margaret Cleyton with her two husbands and 12 children.References:
Redipuglia is the largest Italian Military Sacrarium. It rises up on the western front of the Monte Sei Busi, which, in the First World War was bitterly fought after because, although it was not very high, from its summit it allowed an ample range of access from the West to the first steps of the Karstic table area.
The monumental staircase on which the remains of one hundred thousand fallen soldiers are lined up and which has at its base the monolith of the Duke of Aosta, who was the commanding officer of the third Brigade, and gives an image of a military grouping in the field of a Great Unity with its Commanding Officer at the front. The mortal remains of 100,187 fallen soldiers lie here, 39,857 of them identified and 60,330 unknown.