St Mary's Priory Abergavenny: The Priory Centre

ADMINISTRATION: St Mary's Parish Church, St Mary's Priory, Abergavenny

The Parish

St Mary's Priory serves as a parish church for the town and community of Abergavenny, and encompasses a significant part of the rural Coldbrook estate, stretching from the ancient Llanellen Bridge to the south, to the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain.  It is part of an Incumbancy wihich also includes St Peter's, Llanwenarth and Holy Trinity Abergavenny, which itself is part of the Greater Abergavenny Ministry Area.

There is a daughter church, Christchurch, in North Street, serving the western parts of the parish.  This was built in the latter half of the 18th Century with the generosity of the Nevill Family, the Marquesses of Abergavenny, who once lived at Nevill Hall, now the district hospital.

Christchurch was built as an iron church, and was then wood-clad. It has a belfry and spire and has been carefully restored in recent years.

St Mary's Priory, Abergavenny is one of several ancient Benedictine foundations in the Diocese.

At the foundation of the new diocese, some thought was given to St Mary's Priory becoming the Cathedral Church, with the attraction of a fine Priory house (demolished c.1952), adjoining land and facilities.

When can I visit the church?


The church is currently open for visitors who wish to see the fine monuments or sit in quiet contemplation Monday to Friday from 10.00am until 2.00pm and Saturday from 10.00am until 3.00pm. Please note: the Priory site will be closed on Monday 3rd June for visitors.

There is no charge, although St Mary’s does cost £1,000 per day to run so any voluntary contribution would be very gratefully received.

You can also bring a group to visit St Mary’s, please e-mail us on

The Church in Wales

In 1919, the Church of England was disestablished in Wales, partly to assert national identity. It was replaced the following year by the Church in Wales, which is both independent of the state and an independent member of the Anglican Communion.

The Church in Wales is split into six dioceses – Llandaff, St David’s, Bangor, St Asaph, Swansea and Brecon, and Monmouth.

More info

The Diocese of Monmouth

The Diocese of Monmouth covers the south east corner of Wales, from Monmouth south to Chepstow, westwards along the M4 corridor to Newport and the outskirts of Cardiff, northwards into the south eastern valleys and east into the rural areas around Usk, Raglan, Abergavenny, and the Herefordshire border – what was, in fact, the ancient county of Monmouth.

It is made up of two geographical archdeaconeries – Monmouth and Newport - and a number of Ministry Areas, including Abergavenny. 
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Newport Cathedral

The Cathedral church of the Diocese of Monmouth is in Newport, the main centre of population for the area. It is one of the most ancient buildings in Wales, with a history stretching back into early Celtic history. Its fine Galilee Chapel and stunning Romanesque Nave lead on to a 20th century choir and sanctuary. This is a fine rose window and dorsal painting by John Piper.

The Cathedral, previously known as St Woolos Cathedral but now as Newport Cathedral, is governed by the Dean and Chapter of Canons, made up of parochial clergy from within the diocese. 

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