Built Heritage

On the 20 of January even as it came to pass – It pleased God the same flood did flow to the edge of this same brass – and in this parish was lost 5000 and od pound – Besides xxii was in this same parish drowned
— Commemorative flood marker, Goldcliff Church

There are a wide variety of buildings including medieval churches, and some fine post-medieval cottages and farmhouses as well as several working farms in the Gwent Levels. There are also some fine buildings associated with the older villages, including small churches whose spires act as vertical landmarks.

Redwick is the best-preserved medieval nucleated village on the Levels, and remains generally in very good condition with few modern buildings including the grade one listed Church of St Thomas the Apostle. Two of the six bells in the central tower date from the pre-Reformation period and are thought to be some of the oldest working church bells in the country.

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Churches are the key built heritage sites on the Levels. Most of the stories of the Levels are wrapped up in the churches and the community living around them. As many of the churches looked to the Severn and the sea they are closely linked to the maritime trade history of Wales. Several church records document part of this maritime history e.g. records at Goldcliff church show that children didn’t go to school in Goldcliff in 1912 because the tide came over the sea defences. We can also deduce that the sea wall was breached more often at Goldcliff and Nash by the record number of children’s deaths in local parish records there. There are sailors graves at Goldcliff and Nash, and grave records are available for Nash, Redwick and Magor. In the St Thomas Church at Redwick, a plaque on the outer wall commemorates the great flood of 1607 when many thousands of people and animals died: other examples of similar plaques can be seen on churches in Goldcliff and Peterstone.