St Bridget's Church, Skenfrith / Ynysgynwraidd

Recent Photograph of St Bridget's Church (Skenfrith / Ynysgynwraidd)

The Tower, nave and chancel are the oldest parts of this building, dating from at least as early as 1207 when the name of its first Incumbent, Hubert de Burg, was recorded. He was also Chief Justiciar of England under Henry III, and also the builder of nearby Skenfrith Castle.

It seems likely however that the structure may be much earlier. The castle was built on the site of a Motte and Bailey castle, built by the Normans, who arrived in Skenfrith in 1075, and their activities may also have required a place of worship. Indeed, the influence of Norman architecture is obvious inside the church, the guide book suggesting it may have originally been like a Saxon or early Norman hall, with a central nave, and side aisles under one V-roof. The present aisles date from the 15th century.

Equally, the site could have been a place of worship from an even earlier period. The dedication to St Bridget (a 6th century Irish saint) may indicate Saxon origins, in common with other sites of worship in this area, such as Bridstow.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 25th June 2009.
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