The church of St. Peter is a small stone edifice of considerable antiquity, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch and a western bell turret containing one bell: in the chancel are two ancient slabs, recovered in 1764 from the churchyard, and bearing an inscription in Norman French to Urian de St. Pierre, who was lord of this place and died in 1239; there are also two incised slabs to members of the Lewis family, dating from the 16th century, and some more modern monuments. The church was restored in 1874, at a cost of £1,000, and affords 50 sittings. The registers seem formerly to have been kept with those of Portskewett. The living is a rectory annexed to that of Portskewett, joint net yearly income £413, in the gift of C. E. Lewis esq. and held since 1880 by the Rev. William Henry Williams M.A., of Jesus College, Oxford, and rural dean of Netherwent, who resides at Portskewett.
St. Pierre Park is the property of Chas. Edward Lewis esq. D.L., J.P., lord of the manor and sole landowner: the fine old mansion, which has been the seat of the Lewis family since the 14th century, is of various,periods, the Tudor style predominating; the deer park has some grand old timber and a lake of about 11 acres in extent. The soil is gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area of Mathern and St. Pierre is 3,466 acres of land, 16 of water, 337 of tidal water and 162 of foreshore; rateable value, Mathern and St. Pierre, £6,022; the population in 1891 was 585.
For civil purposes, St. Pierre and Runston were amalgamated with Mathern, by Local Government Order No. 17,581, dated March 25, 1886;
This parish is included in the United School Board district of Mathern, formed 10 December 1875. F. Evans, solicitor, Chepstow, clerk to the board, William Williams, Chepstow, attendance officer.
Hunt William, farmer, Broadwell Farm, Runston
Williams John, farm bailiff to C. E. Lewis esq. D.L., J.P
In the early years of the 20th century my Great Grandfather Sam Wood moved from his home in Gratton Staffordshire (the ownership of which he retained) and bought The Elms Farm at Caerwent, which proved a temporary base, as a few years later he acquired Runston Farm, in the acreage of which the old Runston village and Church stands, and access to the ruins is through the farmyard.
Sam Wood died in 1940, and the farm was occupied by his daughter, my Aunt Alice (Mrs Alice Jones) and my unmarried uncle James Wood ("Runston Jim"). Other members of the Wood family also lived there at various times.
Alice and Jim died in the late seventies, and the other members of the family having dispersed, Runston was sold.
Before he died, Sam Wood (in the days before colour photography!) commissioned a large oil painting of Runston Farm, reproduced here, which has passed down through various members of the family and is now in the possession of my Mother.
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