Getting there: The total walk from parking spot 1 to the church and back was approximately 1.5 miles, but is uphill on the way back! From either parking it's suggested you walk along the road down to houses at the very end. From there you need to follow the well sign posted footpath through the garden, look for yellow footpath arrows everywhere and follow the path past the deer. Note: There is a turning space at the bottom and potential parking, but we found this a bit too intimate with the residents to suggest parking there.
Take your time to look around, the remoteness and simpliciy of the church adds to it's charm. Collect the information needed to complete the questions below and send your answers to me using the Message Center, failure to send in your answers will result in your log being deleted . Questions:
- Total gold spears on all internal candelabra?
- Number of external air vents and their equivalent shape in a suit of cards? Example: 9 of Hearts :)
- Number of drain/down pipes around the exterior of the church?
- On the back of the porch gate, the first name of whose loving memory is it in?
In the unlikely event that the church is locked, please substitute Question 1 with a picture of you / your GPS outside the Church.
Place names are fascinating and sometimes tantalising indicators of historical continuity. 8th Century manuscripts mention Cwmcerruc as part of Llandaff's area of influence and it seems likely that the church was founded sometime between 730 - 780.
The present building is probably 12th century, the oldest indicator being the west doorway which has been blocked off. However, the cross on the South side is pre-Norman and thus nearly 1000 years old... The Name Kilcorric is mentioned in a manuscript of 1254.
Both North and South windows were added in the 15th Century, possibly after the porch was added to the South side. A further name change occurs in the Saxons map of Monmouthshire, published in 1579, which shows Kilgoruck marked with a church Symbol.
The fortunes of the church at Kilgwrrwg waxed and waned during the succeeding centuries, sometimes well endowed and sometimes in complete disrepair. By the early 19th century, the church was described as little more than "a dilapidated sheepfold".
A major restoration took place in 1989/1990 at the instigation, and mostly at the expense, of a local schoolmaster, James Davies. The roof was removed, new timbers installed and the original slabs refitted. The interior was re-plastered, the exterior re-pointed and new rainwater fitments and soak-aways installed. It had been nearly 200 years since the last major refurbishment and Kilgwrrwg should now be ready for the next 200 years :)
The Holy Cross
The cross in the churchyard is the subject of the re-dedication of the church in 1979 by the Bishop of Monmouth and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and has serviced all the vagaries of political and religious turmoil, possibly because of the remoteness of the site. A simpler cross would be hard to fashion and yet it's in keeping with the simplicity of the church building itself.
The church has never had water or electricity and the only artificial light is provided by candles. The chandeliers were made in the nearby village of Shirenewton and the two alter candle holders for turned from the oak in one of the beams replaced during the 1989 restoration.
Kilgwrrwg is one of many churches for which strong arguments have been put forward for closure. The depressing state of the fabric in the 1980s could have led to closure and deconsecration. It didn't, £37,000 was raised to carry out the necessary work and 1300 years of Christian worship continues. A priceless piece of history, architecture, culture and belief is also here for you to enjoy and use.
The church is made form the material on which is stands. The Welsh borderland is one of the main areas for the Old Red Sandstone sediments in the UK, a series of red sandstones that give rise to the rich red soils so characteristic of the Marches. In the vicinity of Kilgwrrwg they have provided flagstones for the roof, the floor and some of the gravestones; massive sandstone building materials for the walls, and a conglomerate or 'puddingstone' for the cross in the churchyard.
The bell dates from 1696 and was donated by William Nicholas during an affluent period in the church's history. His sandstone tomb is well preserved o the South-East side of the church and is inscribed with Bishop Ken's 'Morning Hymn', first published in 1695.
The blocked West door has a human face carved in the corbel above the arch and could have supported a beam for the porch.
The East windows is the parish's War Memorial and contain the names of those who died in teh Great War including that of Richard Morgan who is buried on the South-East corner. He is belevied to be the last British serviceman to die before the 1918 armistice.
This is still an active Church - services are held on the third Sunday of every month at 11:15.
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him at churchmicro.co.uk
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.
Virtual Reward - 2017/2018
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.