Skenfrith / Ynysgynwraidd

Extract from Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire & South Wales, 1895.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2011

SKENFRITH, or SKENFRETH, is a parish and village, on the river Monnow, over which there is a stone bridge of 3 arches, on the road from Ross to Abergavenny; it is 7 miles north-north-west from Monmouth, the nearest railway station, in the Northern division of the county, hundred and petty sessional division of Skenfrith, union and county court district of Monmouth, Monmouth and Skenfrith highway district of the Monmouth District Council, rural deanery of Abergavenny (Eastern division), archdeaconry of Monmouth, and diocese of Llandaff. The church of St. Bridget is a building of stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and a low western tower, with an open wood lantern containing 6 bells: there is one stained window and an ancient tomb with Elizabethan figures dated 1557: a pre-Reformation cope is preserved here: there are 200 sittings. The register dates from the year 1662, but is very imperfect. The living is a vicarage, tithe rent-charge £200, average £152, net income £140, with 2½ acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of Robert Newton Jackson esq. and held since 1889 by the Rev. Christopher Leonard Garde M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin.

The Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1883, and the Baptist chapel in 1830. The Catholic chapel at Coedangared, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, was erected in 1847, and has a cemetery attached. A Public Reading Room was established in 1888. From the top of Graig Hill, about 1,600 feet, ten counties may be seen. Skenfrith Castle, built anterior to the Norman invasion, stood on the west side of the Monnow river, but of this fortress nothing new remains except a part of the keep and outer wall; Leland describes it, as being nearly perfect in his time (1506-52); this is probably one of the oldest of the border castles, and, with Grosmont and White Castles, was given by King John to William de Braose, for three steeds and ten greyhounds: the tower was massive and the walls of great thickness and strength: it was probably in the first instance of British origin, and intended for the defence of the river, or to render more secure the passes of the adjacent mountains: the castle was seized by King Henry III. who visited it several times during the years 1220 and 1222.

The principal seats are Blackbrooke, the residence of Peter Bothwell Jackson esq. and Glen Monnow, the residence of Robert Newton Jackson esq. J.P. The Duke of Beaufort K.G. is lord of the manor. The principal landowners are James Graham esq. Peter Rothwell Jackson esq. who is lord of Blackbrooke manor, Edward Kendal E. Mardon esq. and Robert Newton Jackson esq. There are quarries of good paving stone. The soil is stiff and light loam; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat and barley and oats with some beans and roots. The area is 4,885 acres; rateable value, £3,435; the population in 1891 was 501.

Parish Clerk, George Lewis.

Post, M.O. & T.O., S.B., Express Delivery, & Annuity & Insurance Office.- George Lewis, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from Monmouth at 9.10 a.m.; dispatched at 3.40 p.m.

Post Office, Cross Ash.- Henry Williams, sub-postmaster. Letters from Monmouth arrive at 9.30 a.m.; dispatched at 3.10 p.m. Postal 0rders are issued here, but not paid. Skenfrith is the nearest money order & telegraph office

A School Board of 7 members was formed 9 May, 1874, for the United District of Skenfrith, Grosmont & Llanguar & Garway, in Herefordshire; J. H. Farquhar, Abergavenny, clerk to the board; James Jones, Grosmont, attendance officer

Board School, erected in 1877, at a cost of £1,200, for 120 children; average attendance, 80; Richard Lewis Parry, master; Mrs. Lydia Jane Parry, mistress

The old National school has been converted into a sunday school

(Marked * receive their letters through Pontrilas R.S.O. Herefordshire)
Cardinaeal Rev. Peter John (Catholic), Coedangared
Garde Rev. Christopher Leonard M.A. (vicar)
* Jackson Peter Rothwell, Blackbrooke
* Jackson Robert Newton J.P. Glen Monnow (letters through Ross, Herefordshire)
Morris Rev. Richard (Wesleyan), Halfway house (letters through Grosmont R.S.O.)
* Pugh John, Norton

* Bevan Samuel, shoe maker
Bevan Thomas, farmer, Caerobins
Clark William, farmer, Tregout farm
Cole Abraham Noden, grocer & draper
Davies George, farmer, Barn farm
Davies William, farmer
Edwards Harriet (Mrs.), Bell inn
* Gale Brothers, farmers, White house
Griffiths George, farmer, Brink
* Heath Amos, farmer, Trevony
Hodges John, miller (water)
Hoyle Alexander, gardener to P.R. Jackson esq
* Hyslop John Kerr, farm bailiff to P.R. Jackson esq
Jeffries Joseph, farmer, Ricketts
Johns John, farmer, Upper Graig
Jones William, farmer, The Firs
Lambert Thomas, farmer, Graig

Martin Thomas, farmer, Lantina
Meredith Thomas, farmer, Kellin
* Morgan Geo. blcksmth. Blackbrooke
Morgan William, farmer, Llantellyn
Morgan William, farmer, The Wain
Parry James, farmer, Plasyrwn
Perkins Charles, fanner, Coedangared
Philpotts William John, farmer, Old Vicarage
Powell Thomas, farmer, Birchhill
Price Brothers, farmers, Bryngarth
Reading Room (A.N. Cole, sec.)
* Robinson Isaac, farmer, Box farm
Rosser James, New inn
* Rosser William, Bridge inn, Norton
Sayce Theophilus, grocer
Thomas Eli, farmer, Woodside
Whitlock James, farmer, Cross Way
* Williams James, farmer, Up. Norton

Hughes Edward, mason
Jones John, timber & hoop merchant & farmer
Price Josiah. carpenter
Probert William, farmer, Plas Ivor
Pugh James, farmer, Trebella farm
Williams Henry, grocer, Post office
[Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire & South Wales, 1895]

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