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Trellech (occasionally spelt Trelech, Treleck or Trelleck) (Modern Welsh: Tryleg) is a village in Monmouthshire, south east Wales at grid reference SO500054, near Monmouth and the location of an archaeological site. The village is designated as a Conservation Area[1].

The name of the village derives from the Welsh language and means either "the town (tre) of slates (llech)" or "three (tri) slates (llech)". There are three standing stones in the village, known as Harold's Stones. There are 26 known spellings for the village, including those mentioned above which can be found on road signs at three of the six entrances into the village.

Contents

[edit] History

Trellech was one of the major towns of medieval Wales, the remains of which have been subject to excavation over a period of many years and are continuing. It is most likely that the town was established specifically for the exploitation of local iron ore and charcoal. By 1288 there were 378 burgage plots recorded in Trellech, which would have made it larger than Cardiff or Chepstow at the time.

Trellech was largely destroyed in 1291 as a result of a raid following a dispute over alleged deer poaching. The town, which was owned by the de Clare family of Marcher lords, again suffered during the Black Death in 1340 and again in 1350. Subsequently, it was largely burned down by Owain Glyndwr and his men early in the 1400s, and its prosperity and importance reduced. However, it still had its own mayor and market as late as 1695. The main route between Monmouth and Chepstow ran via Trellech: the present valley road (A466) was not completed until the 1820s.

[edit] Current archaeological dig - the "Lost City"

In 2005, a young archaeology graduate, Stuart Wilson, bought a field in which he was convinced that there are remains of the lost medieval town. His interest in the field and the possibility that Wilson's hunch is correct was the feature of a 30-minute documentary, presented by the archaeologist Francis Pryor, called The Boy Who Bought a Field, on BBC Radio 4, on Monday, 6 March 2006. The programme visited the site several times and, on a later visit, discovered that Wilson had discovered what looked like medieval walls and yard-paving.

[edit] Places of historical interest

[edit] Harold's Stones

These large monoliths of conglomerate stone, commonly referred to as pudding stone, are situated in a field to the south of the village [1]. They date back to the Bronze Age - much earlier than King Harold. They were dragged to the site on logs and levered into position, probably either for seasonal information or for use at religious ceremonies. Some believe they are aligned with the winter solstice on the Skirrid mountain, also known as the "Holy Mountain of Gwent"[citation needed].

[edit] The Virtuous Well

Sometimes known as St. Ann's Well, this can be found in a field on the left of the road to Tintern, a little way out of the village to the east [2]. The water is impregnated with iron and has been thought to possess curative properties.

[edit] Tump Turret

Tump Turret [3], some 20 feet high, is situated within Court Farm, a farmyard to the south-west of the church. It dates back to Norman times, as the site of a small motte and bailey castle. There is a superstition that calamity will overtake anyone who attempts to excavate it.

[edit] St Nicholas' Church

A central focal point of the village [4]. It has an elegant pointed and prominent later spire, a font and ancient sundial. A church on this site was endowed by King Ffernwael ap Ithel and King Meurig ap Tewdrig, rulers of Gwent in the 7th century and 8th century. This was probably a wooden structure. The Preaching Cross [5] in the churchyard may date back to this time, and so may the font. The present building dates from the 13th century and 14th century; the early English Gothic stonework has been dated to between 1225 and 1272, and that of the Decorated Gothic up to 1350.

When, in 1972, the weathercock was removed from the spire, it was found to have been made in Ross-on-Wye in 1792. The original spire fell, damaging the roof of the nave. A contemporary reference attributes this to lightning and storms. The cage housing the three bells in the belfry is of a type similar to that found in other belfries constructed about the year 1700.

The church was in a very neglected state at the end of the last century when it was extensively renovated and reroofed. The Belgian slates then used were replaced by Welsh slates in 1961. The chancel was replastered in 1972 and painted white. During 1974 considerable repair work was done to the north and south aisles, and in 2001 the majority of the churchyard dry-stone wall was removed and rebuilt, but there remains a great deal yet to be done to the building if it is to be brought up to a reasonable standard.

Records are held by the church going back to the year 1692 and a complete list of Vicars and churchwardens is found hanging by the entrance to the south aisle: these date from the year 1359.

[edit] Other points of interest

  • Mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was born at "Ravenscroft", the country home of his parents, Lord and Lady Amberley. Ravenscroft is now Cleddon Hall, between Trellech and Llandogo.
  • The village is home to Trellech Primary School.

[edit] References

  1. , Adopted Unitary Development Plan

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 51.74506° N 2.72560° W


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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