Welsh: Y Dyfawden
The Village Green, Devauden
There is evidence that an ancient ridgeway between Monmouth and the coast at Mathern passed through Devauden. Roman coins from the period of Antoninus were found in the village in 1840.
Devauden was said to be the site of a battle to which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle refers in which the Britons were overwhelmed and defeated by the combined forces of the English kings Æthelbald of the Mercians and Cuthred of the West Saxons in 743, albeit that the Chronicle states no place nor outcome of the fight. The name may be derived from the Welsh Ty'r ffawydden, or "house of the beech tree". Until the mid-20th century the village was often known as The Devauden.
Devauden and the nearby hamlet of Fedw or Veddw (from Welsh Y fedw, birch grove) were originally clusters of illicit cottages built as a base by woodcutters, mule drivers, quarrymen and labourers linked to the wireworks at Tintern and the Angiddy valley. The village was historically part of the parish of Newchurch.
On October 15, 1739, John Wesley preached his first sermon in Wales on the village green at Devauden. He wrote in his journal:
Upon a pressing invitation, some time since received, I set out for Wales. About four in the afternoon I preached on a little green at the foot of the Devauden ... to three or four hundred plain people on "Christ our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." After sermon, one who I trust is an old disciple of Christ willingly received us into his house..
James Davies (1765–1849) was schoolmaster at Devauden for over 30 years during the early 19th century, and was responsible for establishing a village school in 1815. In 1830 the school was converted into a chapel, and a new schoolroom was built next door. Davies gained a strong local reputation for enduring personal hardship in order to help the poor in the community. The school closed in 1986.
The parish church is dedicated to St James.
Chepstow Park Wood
Chepstow Park Wood, located immediately south of the village towards Itton, is an extensive area of mixed woodland owned and managed by the Forestry Commission, popular with walkers. It was established as a hunting forest around 1280 by Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, the lord of Striguil or Chepstow Castle. It covers about 8,200 acres, and was originally enclosed by a fence stretching almost 5 mlies. Around 1340, it was occupied and taken over by a band of outlaws led by William de Derneford and his son Robert. It was re-enclosed with a stone wall around 1630, and at the same time a stone lodge was built in the centre of the forest, with views back towards Chepstow, for the use of visitors to the forest. Later, the wood became notorious as a haunt of highwaymen.
The village hall is the Hood Memorial Hall, opened in 1953. The money was provided as a gift from local resident, Mrs Hood, on land donated by Lady Curre.
The village pub is the Mason's Arms, which dates from around 1800.
- Veddw House gardens near Chepstow and places to stay
- Review of Veddw House Gardens
- Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire, 1901
- Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Peterborough Chronicle) (743) Her Æþelbald Myrcna cyning 7 Cuþræd Westseaxena cyning gefuhton wið Wealas.
- Villages | Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- History of Devauden, Monmouthshire
- Photo of church
- Forestry Commission
- Rick Turner and Andy Johnson (eds.), Chepstow Castle - its history and buildings, 2006, ISBN 1-904396-52-6