DEVAUDEN, KILGWRRWG, GAER-LWYD and WENTWOOD
NEWCHURCH EAST and NEWCHURCH WEST together form a parish anciently known as "Eglwys-newydd-ar-y-Cefn" and now include the chapelry of Devauden, in the Southern division of the county, upper division of the hundred of Caldicot, petty sessional division and union of Chepstow, rural deanery of Chepstow, archdeaconry of Monmouth, and diocese of Llandaff.
Newchurch East is in the county court district of Chepstow and Newchurch West in that of Usk. The parish, which is intersected by the road from Chepstow to Usk, is 6½ miles north-west from the, Chepstow and 7½ south-east from Usk station, on the Great Western railway.
The church, occupying a bleak elevation on the northern side of the parish, is a building of stone, repaired in 1865 ; it is in the Early English style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a western tower containing 1 bell; the Decorated east window is stained; the church has been thoroughly modernized, but presents no features of interest; there are 100 sittings. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 17I0; marriages, I755.
The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £111 wvitli two acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Duke of Beaufort, and held since 1895 by the Rev. Charles Matthew Perkins, jun.
The chapel of ease in Devauden is a plain building with a belfry containing 1 bell and has an endowment of £32 yearly, which is in the gift of and is at present held by the vicar of Newchurch.
There are chapels for Wesleyan Methodists at Pen-y-cae-mawr, at the Glyn, at :Devauden and for Welsh Methodists at Gaerlwydd.
Devauden, anciently Ddefawdon, two miles north-east from the parish church, is said to have been the place where the Britons were overwhelmed and utterly defeated by the combined forces of the Saxon monarchs, Ethelbald of Mercia and Cuthred of Wessex, in 743. Various Roman coins of Antoninus and others were found at Devauden green in 1840. There is a fine cromlech at Gaer-lwydd.
In this parish there is a very extensive British camp, known as Gaer-fawr - "the great fortification" - occupying a position of great natural strength upon the spur of a hill; this camp has an outer and inner vallum of stones and earth and extends over nearly twenty acres.
Chepstow Park, a wood of about. 3,000 acres, is near here, in which is a reservoir for the Chepstow waterworks. A considerable portion of the extensive wooded district, all that now remains of the ancient forest of Wentwood, is in Newchurch West, and here are the ruins of the Castle of Troggy, or Cas Troggy, so called from the rivulet of that name, which has its source near the castle. The ascription of the name of Strigul by Camden and some other writers to this castle has doubtless arisen from a corruption of the name of Cas Troggy or Stroggy, and has given rise to much confusion between this place and the real Strigul or Chepstow. Troggy Castle is said to have been built in the reign of Edward I. by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk.
The Duke of Beaufort, who is lord of the manor and impropriator, and C. R. Crompton Roberts esq. are the principal landowners. The soil is loam and sand; subsoil, gravel and sandstone grit. The chief crops are grain and roots. The area is, Newchurch East, 3,396 acres of land and 3 of water; rateable value, £1,711, and a population in 1891 of 393; Newchurch West, 2,098 acres ; rateable value, £753, population in 1891 was 139.
Post Office, Devauden - John Thomas, sub-postmaster. Letters through Chepstow, arrive at 7.45 a.m.; dispatched 6.55 p.m. week days only. Postal orders issued, but not paid. St. Arvans is the nearest money order & telegraph Office, 3 miles distant. Wall Letter Box at Newchurch West, cleared at 4.25 p.m. week days only
A School Board of 5 members was formed 11 Dec. 1874 for the United districts of East and West Newchurch, Kilgwrrwg & Wolves Newton;
Board School, Devauden Green, rebuilt with house for master in 1879, at a cost of about £500, for 100 children; average attendance, 42; Edward Ellis Peters, master.
Board School, Newchurch West, opened in 1890, for 90 children; average attendance, 25 ; Miss Nora Warlt, mistress.
The endowment of the former schools is now applied to purposes connected with the present schools; both the chapel & former endowed school were first established mainly through the exertions of James Davies, the village schoolmaster, the story of whose untiring zeal in the cause of religion & education has been more than once published.
Perkins Rev. Charles Matthew, jun., Vicarage, Devauden
Birden John, farmer, Priory farm
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