The Priory Church of St Mary, Usk, Monmouthshire. T. H. Wyatt did some work on this Grade I listed medieval church in 1844, adding a west bay and vaulting the crossing to make a sanctuary. Further work was done by others after that (and more needs to be done again now). Perhaps more interesting for Victorianists is the fact that the churchyard is the last resting-place of Wyatt's distinguished architect brother, Sir Matthew Henry Wyatt, whose tomb he designed.

Left: The polished red granite tomb slab of Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and his wife, with a simple stone cross upon it. Right: The circular device on the sloping edge carries T. H. Wyatt's initials.

The tomb, Grade II listed with the adjacent ones, was designed for Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt (1820-1877) by his elder brother T. H. Wyatt. It is made of granite and stone, with ironwork railings. The British Listed Buildings text, derived from the Welsh heritage organisation CADW, describes it as having "a single recumbent polished red granite slab with chamfered edges bearing a plain white stone cross," and notes the inscription: "Here rest the remains of Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt Kt born 28 July 1820. Died 21 May 1877." Digby's wife Mary's name can be seen on one of the sides, and the signature "T H W" appears in a small circle on the sloping edge at the foot of the cross, in the middle of the words "In Loving Remembrance."

Close-up of ironwork round the tomb, seen from the top end.

Most appropriate and impressive is the surrounding railing: "slender ironwork scrolls in Romanesque style to panels between polygonal uprights; extravagant foiliage or petals to twisted bud finials, pendant foliage to uprights" (listing text). However, John Newman finds this ironwork "conventional" compared to the ironwork round the adjacent larger tomb to members of the Nicholl family, designed by Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt himself at the beginning of the 1850s.

Photographs and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, with thanks to Philip and Shan Henshall for making the visit here possible. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related material


Newman, John. Gwent/Monmouthsire. Buildings of Wales series. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000.

"Priory Church of St Mary, Usk." British Listed Buildings. Web. 29 July 2019.

Robinson, John Martin. The Wyatts: An Architectural Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

"Wyatt and Nichol Family Graves in St Mary's churchyard." British Listed Buildings. Web. 29 July 2019.

Last modified 29 July 2019