History in Structure

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The Court House

A Grade II Listed Building in Caerwent, Monmouthshire

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Latitude: 51.6271 / 51°37'37"N

Longitude: -2.799 / 2°47'56"W

OS Eastings: 344791

OS Northings: 192334

OS Grid: ST447923

Mapcode National: GBR JG.8LNG

Mapcode Global: VH7B9.FCNH

Entry Name: The Court House

Listing Date: 29 March 2000

Last Amended: 29 March 2000

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23042

Building Class: Domestic

Location: In the centre of the village of Llanvair Discoed at the junction of the roads to Shirenewton, Caerwent and Wentwood.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Chepstow

Community: Caerwent (Caer-went)

Community: Caerwent

Locality: Llanvair Discoed

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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The house is dated 1635 on a plaque on the porch and it is supposed to have been built by Roger (or Rhys) Kemeys, the local large landowner. Stylistically, however, the appearance of the house puts the date near the end of the C17. There may be a house of 1635 as a part of the present structure, or the date may refer to the porch being added to an already existing house, but this does not appear to be the date of the main structure of today. Fox and Raglan date other houses of similar appearance very close to 1700. There is a wing of uncertain date to the right of the main late C17 range, There is also a late C18 or early C19 rear wing and several minor c1970 rear extensions. In 1920 the Court House Farm estate was sold to Monmouthshire County Council. The house was sold off with the home farm (now Llanvair Farm) in 1921 and then the farm was sold to the Welsh Land Resettlement Society in 1937 leaving the house and garden as now, lived in at that time by the Society's manager. The Society later seems to have failed and the farm also passed to the Monmouthshire County Council who still own it, but the house was sold for private domestic use.


The house consists of a three storey rectangular block with porch and an additional two storey wing to the right and another to the rear, plus some single storey extensions at the rear.
It is built of rubble limestone as can be seen inside, painted, and with slate roofs. The main block is symetrically designed with five bays and a central porch. The porch is gabled and has chamfered jambs and then a hollow chamfered segmental arch which does not fit the jambs, but this may mean no more than they were not made for each other. Above the arch is a decorated plaque inscribed 'ER : I : FOD : YN : ING : MAEN : DDA : YN : WNG : 1635'. The lettering is convincing for the date but as to what it may signify (see History above). It has been given several translations. The one preferred by Bradney is 'It being small, it is pleasant to be close together' which, sensibly, could not relate to the present house. Within the porch is a late C17 door of four vertical planks with strap hinges and a moulded architrave. On either side of the porch are two timber mullion and transom casements with 4 over 8 panes in each light, these are C20 replacements and have segmental brick heads. There are five more of these on the upper floor and one in a central gable for the attic. Steeply pitched roof without verges but with end stacks. To the right is a lower two storey wing, at one time the kitchen, which may have been added to, or be older than, the main house. It has a modern 6-panel door with a tripartite sash to the right, 4 over 4 panes flank a wider 4 over 4. Above are two 2-light casements with eight panes to each light. Roof of lower pitch with end stack to right. The gable elevation of the main block has two garret windows at each end. The rear stack has a 2-light casement above a 3-light only. Otherwise there is a projecting two storey wing and a modern single storey extension across the rest of the rear.


The main range is centrally planned with a straight flight stair in the hall. This has a closed string and turned balusters of a c1700 type. The rooms on either side have plain beams and reconstructed fireplaces with ceiling beams reused as lintels, one has a C19 bread oven. The late C17 type A-frame roof structure has been considerably altered. The surviving interiors give little hint as to the origins of the building.

Reasons for Listing

Included as a substantial late C17 gentry house which may have earlier origins and historic associations with the Kemeys family.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Barn at Llanvair Farm
    About 30m west of The Court House in the centre of the village of Llanvair Discoed.
  • II Church of St Mary
    In the centre of the village of Llanvair Discoed immediately to the south of Llanvair Castle.
  • II Double lime-kiln at Penhein
    About 400m south west of Penhein just north of the private drive off the Shirenewton road from Llanvair Discoed.
  • II Tile Farm (Ysgubor Kemeys)
    On Grey Hill, about 600m to north of Llanvair Discoed, on west side of lane.
  • II Penhein
    About 1100m north of the village of Llanvair Discoed approached up a private drive off the Shirenewton road.
  • II Barn at Penhein
    About 200m north of Penhein.
  • II Lime Kiln
    Prominently located on the E side of the road leading S into Llanvaches from Wentwood Reservoir, between Millbrook and Rectory Road.
  • II Parish Church of St Dubritius
    Located at the centre of Llanvaches village, surrounded by a low rubble wall with cock and hen coping and stone stile to S side.

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