A GRADE one listed church will open to the public later this month with a new exhibition charting the history of 10 Gwent churches.

St Mary the Virgin Church in Nash will hold an open day on August 14, with photographs and information on the history of the building which dates from around 1100 AD.

The church is one of ten that make up the Benefice of Magor.

St Mary the Virgin was first built by Norman monks sometime after 1113 AD, although little of the original building remains and it was rebuilt during the 1500s.

A £180,000 CADW and Heritage Lottery-funded restoration project in 2005 did much to repair to the damage of intervening years, but it is not normally open to the public except for services and special occasions.

There will also be displays in Nash Village Hall about the history of the other nine churches in the benefice; St Mary in Undy, St Thomas in Redwick, St Mary in Wilcrick, Langstone Parish Church, St Mary Magdalene in Goldcliff, St Martin in Llantarnam, St Cadwaladr in Bishton and St Mary in Llanwern.

The open day, between 12pm and 5pm on August 14, will include refreshment and bric-a-brac stalls, while on August 15 there will be a special songs of praise service in St Mary the Virgin's churchyard.

All proceeds raised over the two days going to the churches in the Benefice of Magor.

Rev Harris said: "We have 10 churches which are all medieval and the upkeep on them is huge. Any funds we can raise will help with that, while also telling people a bit about the history of their area."