Grosmont (St. Nicholas)
GROSMONT (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Dore, division and hundred of Skenfreth, county of Monmouth, 10 miles (N.) from Monmouth; containing 682 inhabitants. This place, though at present consisting only of scattered cottages, interspersed with a few respectable houses in the immediate vicinity of the church, and some handsome mansions in distant and detached situations, was formerly a town of great extent. Numerous remains of stone causeways, by which the adjoining meadows are intersected, are, with a high degree of probability, supposed to indicate the site of former streets; and the size and architecture of the church, unconnected with any monastic establishment of importance, tend to confirm that opinion. The castle was attacked in the reign of Henry III. by the Welsh under Prince Llewelyn, but the king, coming to its assistance with a powerful army, obliged them to raise the siege. In a subsequent expedition of that monarch against the Earl of Pembroke, who had placed himself under the protection of Llewelyn, the Welsh having cut off the supplies of the royal army, the king retreated to Grosmont Castle, and his forces encamped in the neighbourhood; while waiting for supplies, the troops were surprised by a party of Llewelyn's cavalry, who carried off a considerable booty. In the reign of Henry IV. a battle was fought here. The remains of the castle, which was afterwards the baronial residence of the earls of Lancaster, form an interesting and picturesque object, romantically situated on the summit of an eminence overlooking a beautiful vale watered by the river Munnow, and bounded by the lofty mountains of Graig, Saffrwni, and the Garway: the walls, which include an area 110 feet in length, and 70 in breadth, surrounded by a moat, are richly overspread with ivy; and the retired situation of the building, and the scenery of the adjacent country, combine to impart a powerful interest to the ruin. The market, on Tuesday, has been discontinued; but fairs are held on April 4th, August 10th, and October 18th, for the sale of cattle. The parish comprises about 6905 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, endowed with the small tithes only, with the exception of about two acres, which pay great tithes; it is valued in the king's books at £6. 5. 2½., and in the patronage of the Crown: net income, £118. The church is a spacious cruciform structure, in the decorated and early English styles, with an octagonal tower surmounted by a spire; the chancel and transepts only are now used: the font is Norman; on the south side of the chancel is a piscina, and on the south side of the vestry a rudely-sculptured stone, with the effigy of a Knight Templar. In the churchyard is a tombstone to the memory of John à Kent. At a place called Campston are the remains of an intrenchment. Grosmont gives the title of Viscount to the family of Somerset, dukes of Beaufort.