St. Michael's Church is built on the Welsh bank of the River Wye. Much of the church dates back to medieval times but it took its present form in 1846 when it was enlarged. Worship to St. Michael may well have taken place on the site long before that as it is thought a Celtic Church was dedicated to St. Michael around 765 A.D. This is border country and the soldiers of the time revered the great archangel Michael as their saint.
There is a recent statue on the exterior wall to Saint Michael. Memorials on the interior walls include that to Herbert, son of Caleb and Rose Coy, who returned from New York to enlist in the 1st Welch Regiment and fell at Ypres in 1915 aged 19. John Roberts, a farmer, maltster, merchant and ship owner died in 1875, and a fine memorial is dedicated to him, his wife and children. John was brought up at Fair Oaks Farm, in Chapel Hill, and his brother George did much to financially help the Methodist Church at the other end of the village.
The lectern bears a dedication to the four sons of Tintern who fell in WW2. The east window commemorates Jane Damaris Audland and her children. She was the wife of the village surgeon, John Audland, and they lived in the house now known as "The Falls".
The practice of remembering departed members of the congregation continues to this day, and the church is enhanced by these memorials.
The marriage registers date from 1756, but sadly the earlier baptism and burial registers have been lost and only the ones dating from 1812 survive. They are deposited in the County Record Office, Cwmbran.
The Monmouthshire historian, Joseph Bradney, lists incumbents from 1348, the patron being the Crown until the 17th century, thereafter, patronage passed to the Lords of Tintern Manor.
The Church and churchyard provide peace and serenity to residents and visitors. In 1839, W.H.Thomas wrote (Tintern and the Vicinity) "By the churchyard stile, and beneath the dark mantling boughs of the yew, a scene of exquisite sweetness steals upon the eye - the beautiful meadows beyond are skirted by a ridge of lofty woods, with the gentle Wye flowing like a liquid mirror below.... the unmolested sheep repose in grateful shade". A picture unchanged some 160 years on.
These few notes have been taken from "Tintern's Story" by Judith Russill and it is available from shops within the village at £3.50.
The original graveyard
The new graveyard
If you fancy a "Church Crawl" around the local churches, check out The East Gwent page of Church Crawls