Sunday, 18 October 2009


St David Lewis was martyred in Usk on 27th August 1679, at a place known as the Coniger. This site, marked by a blue Usk Civic Society plaque, is within the grounds of Porth-Y- Carn House. Across the street is the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church,
Porth-Y-Carn Street, is dedicated to St David Lewis and St Francis Xavier. This Gothic style church was erected in 1847 and was originally dedicated to St Francis Xavier. Beatified in 1929, Fr David Lewis was one of the forty English and Welsh martyrs canonised by Pope Paul VI on 25th October 1970. The new saint was consequently honoured by the addition of his name to the title of the Usk Church. The church was rededicated in 1974.

For the devotee of St David Lewis, this church is a must visit! Inside the church is a shrine in memory of St David Lewis with his portrait, painted by Soldatiez from the engraving by Alex Vost. Relics of the martyr, a piece of the rope with which he was hanged and a piece of cloth stained with his blood, are also kept in the church.

A stained glass window in the Baptistery depicts the two Patron Saints of the church, St David Lewis and St Francis Xavier. This window is, of course, modern and its colours are exhilarating, vibrant, and beautiful.

Outside, and to the left of the church, is a cracked and nondescript rectangular stone. The stone is plain, with no visible writing or markings. However, this stone is very important as it is the original grave stone of St David Lewis. It marked his grave in the churchyard of the Anglican Priory Church where the saint is buried on the north side of the pathway to the west door. In 1979, the 300th anniversary of St David Lewis’s martyrdom, a new and fitting stone was placed on his grave and the original was removed to its present home beside the Catholic Church which bears his name.


  1. Most interesting. There is so much I do not know about Catholicism in Wales. My great, great grandfather was from Wales, but I am embarrassed to say I do not know where! Thank you! Cathy

  2. Welcome Cathy
    If your great great grandfather came from Wales, you come from good stock! Wales is a beautiful country and the Welsh people are lovely too. You can trust me on that because, although I am not originally from Wales, I have lived here for more than 30 years. St David Lewis lived, worked and died in this area so he is our local saint. However, he is too wonderful to keep to ourselves so that is why I started this blog - to try and share him with the rest of the world. Wales has a proud history of holding fast to the faith during times of persecution. Hopefully, we will be able, through our blog, to give you lots of information about St David Lewis and Catholicism in Wales. Thanks for looking in and God Bless.


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