(Llanfaches) is a village
and community parish
located in the city of Newport
, South Wales
Llanvaches is located in the historic county of Monmouthshire roughly midway between the market town of Chepstow and the city of Newport. The village lies just north of the A48 road and below Wentwood, with both Newport centre and Chepstow about 7 miles distant.
The village is named after St. Maches (Latin: Machuta
), a daughter of St. Gwynllyw
or Woolos and sister of St. Cadoc
, who according to tradition lived a humble life as a shepherdess in the 5th century but was killed by robbers stealing her finest ram. St. Tathyw
, Abbot of nearby Caerwent
, built a church on the spot where she was killed, which became known as Merthyr Maches and later Llanfaches (the letter m mutating
The parish church largely dates from the 14th century and is dedicated to St. Dubricius (Welsh Dyfrig), with Bishops Transcripts dating back to 1725.
The First Independent Church in Wales
The first Independent Church
in Wales was founded at Llanvaches in 1638
by William Wroth
(1576-1642), Rector from 1617
. In 1633, King Charles I
, advised by the Archbishop of Canterbury
, William Laud
, reissued the "Declaration of Sports
". This listed the sports that were permitted on Sundays and other holy days
, and was published to counteract the growing Puritan
calls for strict abstinence on the Sabbath
day. Wroth defied Charles' instruction to read the Declaration to his congregation, and in 1634 the Bishop of Llandaff
reported him to the Court of High Commission
, seeking to remove him from his position in the Church. In 1638 Wroth, along with fellow dissenter Walter Craddock
, resigned, but continued to preach and gather followers. His preaching became so popular that people travelled from Somerset
to Llanvaches to hear him, and it became necessary for him to preach in the churchyard because the church was too small to accommodate all those who attended. By 1639, although he had not formally left the Church of England, Wroth is likely to have been ejected from his living. He set up his Congregationalist
chapel, "according to the New England pattern", completed in 1639
, with the help of the leading Dissenter
, Henry Jessey
. The historic meeting at Llanvaches in November 1639 marked the real beginning of Non-conformity
in Wales. Wroth died shortly before the outbreak of the first English Civil War
, and was buried at Llanvaches.
Two hundred years later the great linguist and traveller George Borrow passed this chapel while walking the old Chepstow Road on a journey he later wrote up in his "Wild Wales" . The current Tabernacle URC chapel was built in the 1920s on the site of the original chapel.
Although Llanvaches is set in a quiet, rural area the need for more houses and the boom in housing development means that the village has a rising population.