IN Goldcliff Village, church and inn, as usual rub shoulders.

The approach to the church is under an avenue or pollarded limes, on which a few leaves were still hanging at my last visit.

To the left is the tower with its simple battlements, to the right the chamfered base and stump of the churchyard cross.


Over the porch is the sundial, inscribed 'C.W. 172,' the Gnomon springing from a jolly little stone face.

Within the church all is white and plain and I felt here as at Nash that it would be good to see the stone-work rid of its plaster defacement.

I note with pleasure that the vicar, who ministers already to Whitson and Goldcliff, is to take over also the splendid church of Nash.

The inn is known variously as the Farmers' Arms, the Dealers' Den and the Glue pot.

In front is a semi-circular hedged enclosure around which, at closing time, the farmers run nine times, to keep themselves fit.

So I was told!

On the north wall of Goldcliff church, 2ft 3ins above the chancel floor, is fixed a brass measuring 7 3/4ins by 3 1/4ins.

As my copy shows, this was one way in which John Wilkins and William Tap, churchwardens recorded the terrible flood of 1606.

The other way was their presentation of plate, paten and chalice inscribed with their names and the date 1609.

My readers will note the attempt on the part.

Wilkins and Tap to render their record in poetry: they will note also, that the twenty-two people were second in importance to the '5,000 and odd pounds.'

The date 1606 is the same on the porch inscription at St. Brides across the river, which breast high reads:


20 JANUARIE [sic]



A hold five feet above the ground in the embattled porch of Redwich Church is accompanied with the inscription: GREAT FLOOD A.D. 1606.

Yet, in the next year, 1607, a tract, 'printed for W.W., to be sold in Paul's Churchyards at the sign of the Grey hound,' had this title:

'Lamentable newes out of Monmouthshire in Wales, contayning the wonderfull and most fearfull accidents of the great overflowing of waters in the saide County[sic], drowning infinite numbers of Cattell of all Kinds, such as Sheep, Oxen, Kine, and horses, with others; together with the losse [sic] of many Men, Women and Children and the subversion of xxvi parishes in January last, 1607.'

On the title page is a lively woodcut which I have ventured to copy.

Above the surging floods arise a church steeple (is it Nash?) two cottages and two trees.

The tree on the t supports a bearded man and a boy sitting in the forks and another boy at water-level.

On the right hand tree sits a fully-clothed man (with tall Welsh hat) and a boy who is naked except for his nightcap.

One of the cottages is untenanted, but on the roof crest of the other sits a tall-hatted man with his hands raised in prayer.

Three other figures with night-caps stand or swim in company with horses, cows, an ass, and a sheep.

Extract taken from Chris Barber's Hando's Gwent