You have no advanced search rows. Add one by clicking the '+ Add Row' button

St Nicholas's Church, Grosmont

Loading Map
Map ReferenceSO42SW
Grid ReferenceSO4047424302
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMonmouthshire
Old CountyMonmouthshire
Type Of SiteCHURCH

St Nicholas, Grosmont, is a large church with a strong thirteenth-century character more or less contemporary with the castle which was the centre of Grosmont lordship. The church served both the castle garrison and a new borough. The church has an ambitious cruciform plan with a central tower. Much of the church was rebuilt in the nineteenth but the long, aisled nave was spared reconstruction. The crown-strut roof has an archaic character quite unlike any other surviving late-medieval roof in Wales although there is a clutch of comparable roofs in southern England. The bays are defined by plain trusses of heavy scantling. Posts rise from the tie-beam to the notch-lapped collar and from collar to ridge; the trusses are impressively braced laterally to a collar-purlin to prevent racking. 

Sampling for dendrochronology provided good independent dating evidence and initially gave a likely felling-date range of 1214-1244, though later sampling of an ex situ diagonal tie (apparently removed from the NE corner of the nave) suggested a felling date after 1232, towards the end of the 1214-44 date range. The felling-date range is consistent with the thirteenth-century character of the nave and shows that the roof has survived from the first phase of building, probably when Hubert de Burgh was lord of Grosmont in 1219-32 or shortly after. In 1227 the king granted de Burgh fifty oaks for his new buildings at Grosmont and further timber to the parishioners, presumably for repairs to the church, in 1240. Grosmont has the earliest scientifically dated roof in Wales, and is one of few dated thirteenth-century church roofs. Its survival can be attributed to both the substantial nature of the roof and to the later medieval decay of the borough. The early character of the roof was noted by C.R.J. Currie in Medieval Archaeology XVI (1972), 179, and there are further observations by Julian Munby et al. in Medieval Archaeology XXVII (1983), 130.

GROSMONT, parish church of St Nicholas (SO 404 243) Nave roof Felling date range: 1214-44; after 1232
Collar 1221; Ashlar pieces 1202(h/s), 1203(h/s); Tie beam 1205(h/s). Site Master: 1112-1221 GROSMONT (t = 9.9 GTOXNBLD; 9.3 WALES97; 9.0 GLOUCBLF).

Sources include:
C.R.J. Currie in Medieval Archaeology XVI (1972), 179
Julian Munby et al. in Medieval Archaeology XXVII (1983), 130
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 4.


application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsBilingual exhibition panel entitled Dyddio Eglwysi Canoloesol yng Nghymru. Dating Medieval Churches in Wales, produced by RCAHMW for the Royal Welsh Show, 2011.
application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsBilingual exhibition panel entitled Dyddio blwyddgylch yng Nghymru; Tree-ring dated buildings in Wales, produced by RCAHMW 2013.