The Churches of Usk

the church of st francis xavier and david lewis

The Church of St Francis Xavier and David Lewis

The Catholic Church set back from Porthycarne Street was built in 1847, to a simple but charming Gothic design. The main window depicts St Benedict and an unidentified saint. The side alter of Our Lady has a particular charm, whilst the baptistry has a modern window depicting the patron saints. The original dedication was to St Francis Xavier; St David Lewis, the Usk Jesuit priest martyred in 1678, was added after his canonisation in 1970.

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The Baptist Church

In Old Market Street is the Baptist church built in 1842. It provided at last a permanent home for Baptist worshippers who for over 200 years had met in various houses in and around Usk. It is a Grade 2 listed building, with most of the original features intact; the 1928 pipe organ, by Charles Gill of Cardiff, has been recently renovated. The schoolroom at the rear is a hive of activity, being used for church-based activities and by several community groups. 

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Usk Baptist Church

The Priory Church of St Mary

st Mary's church

There was a church first built on this site around 1160, together with a Priory for nuns. Additions were made during the following century, and the porches and battlement embellishments were added in the 15th century. Recently, the church has undergone extensive renovation under the guidance of Cadw (the Welsh heritage people) with a re-slated roof and the interior rendered and painted, making it much lighter. Special features to look out for... You cannot miss the beautiful carved wooden Tudor rood screen. Also look for the brass strip on the chancel screen, dedicated to Adam of Usk, renowned priest and chronicler and a native of medieval Usk. The organ St Mary’s splendid organ, now over 150 years old, came to Usk in 1899 from Llandaff Cathedral; it too has undergone recent renovation.

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St Madoc’s, Llanbadoc

This beautiful riverside church dates from the 13th century (though there was an earlier Celtic church here). The tower, new windows and new roof were added 200 years later. The church was altered considerably in 1873, losing many medieval features and treasures. The 20th century restoration saw the interior rubble stone walls returned to their medieval appearance, and the fine 150 year old Conacher organ restored. Just outside the churchyard wall, at the north-east corner by the river, stands a memorial plaque to Victorian pioneer biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. There is a charming riverside walk heading south from the church, and a small children’s play area.


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st Madoc's Church