St Basil's Church, Bassaleg, Monmouthshire
Dedication: St Basil
Built: 15th century
Colour photography: Steve Veysey
Date: 26 February 2009
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX110 digital
Note 1: The church lies on a hill above the Ebbw river. The long nave and south aisle have no dateable features, all the windows having been renewed. Set either side of the south doorway are the headstones of the hood mould of the original doorway. The lofty west tower and chancel are 15th century. The south porch and the vestries are 19th century.
[Extracted from The Old Parish Churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, Malvern, 1991; ISBN 1-871731-08-9]
Note 2: The church and manor of Bassaleg came to prominance under Robert de Haia, the first Norman Lord of Bassaleg. In 1079 the church was completed on its present site, it was re-built between 1101-1126. Bassaleg church, together with six daughter churches, were made over to the Abbey of St Mary at Glastonbury in 1101. During the rest of the 12th century and the first quarter of the 13th century a Norman Priory of Black Monks of the Benedictine Order was established at Bassaleg. The order was given fishing, pasture and wood rights on the de Haia lands free of charge. The community flourished but was gone by the second quarter of the 13th century when the Priory Church was leased to the Bishop of Llandaff. It is thought that the Priory Church was located in woodland about a mile from the present church building. At the Reformation the church and manor were given to the Bishop of Llandaff who then leased it to the powerful Tredegar family.
Above: Old photograph of St Basil's Church, Bassaleg, taken by Ernest T. Bush (by kind permission of Reflective Images of Port Talbot).
The church is made of stone and during its long life many alterations have taken place so that only the tower and chancel remain of the original building. Major renovations took place in the late 18th century, when many of the memorial stones lining the aisles were laid, and again in the late 19th century, when the organ was removed from a wooden gallery and that gallery was removed, and new pews were installed. The tower contains a peal of eight bells recast and installed in 1999 to celebrate the second millennium since our Lordís birth.
[Adapted from the Rectorial Benefice of Bassaleg website]