The priory with the church of St. Mary was built in Chepstow before 1071, as the Benedictine convent seat, founded by William FitzOsbern and his son Roger de Breteuil, second Earl of Hereford. The monastery was subordinate to the monks of Cormeillies Abbey in Normandy, from where the first monks were brought, but as Chepstow grew as a market and harbor settlement around the castle, the nave of the temple also began to be used as a parish church.
The priory developed successfully throughout the Middle Ages, with the exception of the end of the 14th century, when due to epidemic disasters and financial difficulties, it remained empty from 1394 to 1398. New monks were brought from Bermondsey, and the convent rose from decay in the 15th century. The prosperity ended only in the dissolution of the order in 1536. Most of the monastery buildings, as well as the church choir and cloisters were demolished at that time.
In 1701 Another disaster came, when the central tower collapsed during the storm, destroying the transepts. During reconstruction, instead of recreating the original appearance, it was decided to build a low tower on the west side of the nave. Even larger changes in the medieval building took place in the 19th century. The aisles were then removed and the eastern part and the transepts were rebuilt. Further work, partly aimed at restoring the Norman character of the nave, began in 1890, but it was discontinued and abandoned in 1913.
Burton J., Stöber K., Abbeys and Priories of Medieval Wales, Chippenham 2015.
Salter M., Abbeys, priories and cathedrals od Wales, Wolverhampton 2012.
Salter M., The old parish churches of Gwent, Glamorgan & Gower, Wolverhampton 2002.
Wooding J., Yates N., A Guide to the churches and chapels of Wales, Cardiff 2011.