Christchurch, Newport - History

History

In 1448, during the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell's troops camped overnight on Christchurch Hill overlooking Newport before their attack on Newport Castle the next day. A cannon-ball dug up from a garden in nearby Summerhill Avenue, dating from this time, now rests in Newport Museum. Cromwell's men smashed all of the stained glass in the church, except for one tiny orange-coloured pane which remains in the east window.

A tombstone in the north aisle of the church, near the door, is carved with a woman's head, dated 1712 and known as "The Beauty of Chistchurch". Through the ages, on the eve of Corpus Christi, sick children would be brought to be cured by the "Healing Stone of Christchurch", a long narrow grave-stone in the chancel, dated 1376 and dedicated to Johannes Colber and his wife Isabella. The custom led eventually to a system of bribes and profiteering, until it came to an abrupt end, following the intervention of Squire Van of Llanwern, in about 1810.

Christchurch is the location of one of Newport's large municipal cemeteries, north of Christchurch Road overlooking Caerleon. Nearby once stood Christchurch Junior School.

Christchurch has a War Memorial to World War I/World War II and a public house, The Greyhound Inn.

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