Local Interest

This page is intended to carry details of matters of current local interest and also any contributions about our local heritage as to local place-names, images. writing or first-hand accounts of how things used to be in our area.

Do please encourage any living locally, particularly those who are older to give us snippets of what they remember about living or working here: their memories may otherwise be lost. Many will not otherwise know how this area used to be, why places have certain names, what local events there used to be.

Friends of St Cadoc’s Church Questionnaire

To view the questionnaire, please click here.

Local Books

The History of Hilston Park

by Pamela Pugh

The definitive history of this Victorian Palladian-style manor house is now available, with illustrations, maps and photographs, documenting the site from from the first mention of a dwelling on the site in 1293, up to present times.

From the time of the Catholic Needham family in the 1660s to the last private resident in the late 1940s, the estate has seen many changes and influenced much of the local history of the parishes of St. Maughans, Skenfrith and Llangattock-Vibon-Avel.

Read about the turmoil of Owain Glyndwr's great rebellion and the swashbuckling general who shaped the history of the building and helped found the first education system for the area. Included are the local newspaper reports on the fire that consumed the building in 1836 and the story of the secret connection with the Jacobite Rebellion.

Other sections include the history of the local Catholic church, now demolished, the tower on the hill, once a favourite picnic spot for the residents, and rare pictures of the Rangers, Guides and Brownies groups that met there.

And, as the last of the memories of this once great estate pass into history, read the accounts of the life and times at Hilston Park, recollections of the evacuees of the Second World War who were billeted there, and of life at Hilston Park as seen through the eyes of the staff who worked there.


Find out about the farms and cottages that made up this once 3,000-acre estate as you read of the auctions and sales that led to the acquisition by the local authority.

The final section includes present-day photographs and accounts from the people who work there now and who helped shape the building into the centre that so many know today.

Go to www.hilstonpark.co.uk for more information



Village Life Community Project

The Welsh Ambulance service is remarkable for attending emergencies and saving lives but sometimes there are difficulties with response times. One recent example was a serious horse-riding accident in St Maughans, which took 90 minutes for a paramedic to attend and a further 30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. This incident has prompted discussions about what we can do to help ourselves as a community.

One of the most serious emergencies is cardiac arrest. Even if paramedics arrive within eight minutes this may be too late. Very few people suffering a cardiac arrest outside hospital survive unless prompt and effective resuscitation is undertaken. If however cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation is given within five minutes up to 30% can be rescued to come out of hospital alive; but survival rates fall with every minute this is delayed. One solution is to train members of the public in CPR and the use of defibrillators (AED)s, to enable effective resuscitation before the emergency services arrive. This approach has been widely adopted in the UK and is being encouraged in rural communities like ours by the Welsh Government and Ambulance Service as well as various charities.

Llangattock Vibon Avel(LVA), our community council district, poses particular geographical challenges. Its several constituent villages are small and spread out, with relatively few resources. There is no single main centre in a population that is weighted towards the elderly retired, but includes families, commuters and those working in agriculture and other occupations. Preliminary enquiries reveal widespread support for the idea of installing publicly accessible defibrillators, backed up by volunteers trained in CPR and general first aid. We propose to start the project with CPR training sessions and a first AED in Maypole, in the old BT phone box. A second AED will be deployed to better cover the local community, as fund-raising permits.

The intention is to develop the scheme into a local volunteer based crisis response network, not necessarily restricted to medical emergencies. The project has potential benefits at many levels, through local community involvement, fund-raising events, public meetings and training courses, all of which should encourage a sense of social integration and well-being, let alone providing a real back up for the emergency services.

The Village Life project working group has formed with agreed aims and objectives, which are set out below. We have met with the ambulance service co-ordinator for advice and have presented proposals to LVA Community Council, whose members responded very positively and encouragingly.


  • Establish Village Life as a community based emergency response system, based around publicly accessible AEDs with volunteer first aiders trained in CPR and use of AEDs

  • Provide help and support for people in the community facing a crisis, whether medical or non-medical

  • Improve social integration and the sense of community well-being


  • Organise a publicity campaign to engage the local community and recruit volunteers

  • Raise sufficient funds for the project to continue

  • Set up AEDs in suitable locations, the first being sited in Maypole village phone box

  • Organise volunteer training sessions in CPR, use of AEDs and general first aid

  • Develop a communication system to enable people to summon local emergency help from trained Village Life volunteers, after first calling ‘999’ as appropriate

  • Ensure community awareness of AED locations and how to call for help from Village Life

  • Sustain and develop the project to include as many as possible in the wider local community

  • Promote the scheme to other villages in the LVA community council district

For further information please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the secretary Tom Pitts-Tucker.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 28th July 2021 at Cross Ash Village Hall at 8pm. Social distancing protocol will be observed.

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Annual audit of accounts 2019