No. 47 EDITORIAL Bounded on the south by the Severn Estuary, on the east by the Wye, and crossed by the Usk and the Ebbw, rivers have always played an important part in Gwent's history. Water is an immediate barrier, but before the building of the railways, and given the primitive state of the roads, water was also the most important means of transport. Rivers and water transport feature in three of the articles in this issue: Mr. Lewis's article on the New Passage Ferry discussing one way in which the barrier formed by the Severn Estuary was overcome; Mrs. Kenner- ley's article on Caerleon's river transport from the 16th century emphasising the importance of the Usk as a basis for trade over several hundred years; and Mr. Smith's article on the Newport Customs dealing with an essentially 19th century town which would not have developed but for its location and use of the Severn for international trade. Returning to the land, Dr. Grant's article examines the pattern of agricultural holdings in the Upper Cwmyoy Valley, and Mr. Hopkins discusses the management of the farms forming part of the Powis endowment in "Charity in Chepstow". The ancient church at Kilgwrrwg which was probably founded in the sixth century, has been restored and re-dedicated the Church of the Holy Cross. The parishioners and Rev. John Guy raised over £ 2,000 to have the dangerous roof beams strengthened by resin impregnation process. The re-opening of the church was an unusual and historic occasion, as once closed, few churches now re-open, and the Prince of Wales has sent congratulations. It was decided to name the church after the 11th century cross which stands in the churchyard because the name of the original patron saint had been lost. This has been a most worthwhile effort by Gwent people and deserves to be remembered. GWENT LOCAL HISTORY COUNCIL President: RICHARD HANBURY TENISON Chairman: MR. ADRIAN BABBIDGE Secretary: ARTHUR DAVIES 8 Pentonville, Newport, Gwent Editor: MRS. E. JANE PEARSON 1 Ashfield Cottages, Rockwood Road, Chepstow GWENT LOCAL HISTORY Formerly "Presenting Monmouthshire" Autumn 1979 JANE PEARSON