St Mary’s Priory Church
The church lies at the heart of Abergavenny’s Agincourt story. Founded by Benedictine monks in 1087, the church is known as the ‘Westminster Abbey of Wales’ thanks to its soaring architecture and extraordinary collection of historic monuments, amongst which is the tomb of William ap Thomas and his wife Gwladys, both of whom have strong Agincourt connections.
William ap Thomas
Local nobleman William ap Thomas fought alongside Henry V at Agincourt and was knighted in 1426 by Henry VI, becoming known as ‘The Blue Knight of Gwent’ due to the colour of his armour. The Steward of the Lordship of Abergavenny, William lived at Raglan Castle and was responsible for many of the defensive improvements that can still be seen today.
William’s second wife Gwladys was known as ‘The Star of Abergavenny’ on account of her beauty. It is said that both her father Sir Dafydd Gam and first husband Sir Roger Vaughan perished defending the King at Agincourt, with legend saying that they were knighted as they lay dying on the battlefield.