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Procurators House

Magor is sited on a limestone spur in the fertile sea plain south of Wentwood, which has a long history of Celtic, Roman and Norman settlement. The village is clustered around a Square, which, until the building of the railway, was the centre of a considerable trade in cattle to Somerset via Magor Pill and the Severn Estuary.

The Church of St Mary, the Virgin, known locally as the 'Cathedral of the Moors' was founded in the 7th century by Cadwaladr Fendigaid and stands above the fenland and the road to Aberwythel, Magor's long vanished port. No traces of the early church remain and the present building was built mainly in the 13th century and 15th century although some early Romanesque work dating from the 12th century is to be seen in the north wall of the chancel.

In 1238 the church was given to the Abbot and Convent of Santa Maria di Gloria at Anagni in Central Italy and Pope Gregory IX ordered the Papal Delegate in England to set up and endow a vicarage in Magor and to deliver the church and it's property to Deodatus, a monk and Procurator of Santa Maria di Gloria.

The Procurator was the legal representative of the monastery to which the church had been granted and it was his duty to collect the rents and other dues, including tithes and transfer the profits to the monastery. He was a man of some standing, normally a priest well versed in the law, and would enjoy a considerable degree of wealth and have a status superior to that of the vicar.

This status is reflected in the size and solidarity of the remains of the Procurator's House sited to the north-west of the churchyard and originally within it's limits. The building appears to have been constructed in the 14th century and is the only one of it's kind in Wales, whilst there are thought to be only two examples in England.

The Procurator's House would have measured approximately 60' x 35' on plan and have been two storeys high with a cellar beneath the ground floor.

Photograph of Procurators House was kindly provided by Chris Duncash.
Visit his Flickr Page here

Photo of Procurators house by chris duncash


Sketch of procurators House