St John's Church

Usk, United Kingdom

The Church of St John dates from the twelfth century, the date of the nave, although the chancel is fourteenth century and the roofs and tower fifteenth century. It has a well-preserved Norman window. The building is of Old Red Sandstone. The church was restored in 1860-65 by John Prichard and John Pollard Seddon and again by G.E.Halliday in 1900–01.

Memorials to a number of members of the Raglan branch of the Somerset family, whose seat is nearby Cefntilla Court, can be seen in the church.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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Mike773 U (13 months ago)
25/11/22: Usk Weekend For over 900 years the Priory Church of St. Mary has been at the very heart of life in Usk. Its origin was as the church of Usk Priory, a Benedictine nunnery founded by Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke in the twelfth century. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church became the parish church of the town. Extended and restored in the middle of the nineteenth century, it was again restored in 1899–1900. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1974. The church houses a fine Gray and Davison organ of 1861 which it was built to a scheme devised by Sir Frederick Gore Ousely for Llandaff Cathedral.
St Thomas Way (5 years ago)
What did it mean to live on a medieval border? This picturesque town - on the St Thomas Way - with its castle, medieval Priory Church and bridge over the River Usk, is a good place to start. Apart from Usk Castle, the other medieval highlight of Usk is the Priory Church of St Mary, founded jointly as a Benedictine nunnery and parish church in the twelfth century, but significantly re-built after the Glyndwr attacks in 1405. The many treasures of the Priory Church include a Norman tower and font, many monuments and memorials, and a spectacular, richly-carved wooden screen which divides the chancel from the nave. This dates to the fifteenth century, and would have separated the nuns from the townspeople during worship. On the chancel (eastern) side of the screen is a tiny medieval treasure, easily overlooked. A small brass plaque bears the epitaph of the priest, lawyer and chronicler Adam of Usk, who died in 1430. A local boy, Adam’s career took him far from this small town and into the fraught politics of English kingship and government. But his epitaph shows the importance he placed on his Welsh, Usk roots. Translated from the Welsh by J. Morris-Jones, it reads roughly: After fame, to the tomb, from on the bench, The most skilled advocate of London, And judge of the world by gracious privilege, May the heavenly abode be thine, good sire. Lo! a Solomon of wisdom, Adam Usk, is sleeping here, Wise doctor of ten commotes, Behold a place full of learning! The Welsh is a bit odd, and often spelled strangely, as though following English spelling rules. This tiny poem is an evocative memorial of a life lived across borders and between shifting identities.
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