John Wesley, the father of methodism, preached his first sermon in Wales on Devauden Green, our nearest village, in 1793.
A bust of the preacher watches over the Village Green to commemorate the event with an information board giving details of his life and impact on society.
You’ll learn that John Wesley was a radical who many at the time would have considered mad for taking his message of helping the poor from the pulpit to outdoor spaces like our village green. He also strongly renounced slavery.
Hundreds attended his visit to the village and his sermons led to the establishment of “preaching houses” across Wales. The earliest surviving is in the nearby village of Earlswood.
By the time he died there were approximately 76,000 Methodists in societies around Britain. Today there are an estimated 70 million worldwide.
Next to the Green you’ll find the Hood Memorial Hall, which in normal times is a thriving community centre. There are two flags flying outside – the Welsh flag and the emblem for Monmouthshire.
It is almost ten years ago that we established Devauden Races to raise money to pay for the flags while also donating to SARA, the search and rescue service which patrols the Rivers Severn and Wye, and the land in between.
In subsequent years, money raised from the races around Chepstow Park Woods contributed to the John Wesley memorial and a fantastic playground in the Hall grounds. If you have children, the playground is definitely worth a visit. There’s an adventure set-up with a mini-zip wire as well as a space for younger children created using natural materials.
Devauden Races are held on the first May Bank Holiday Monday each year and feature a challenging off-road 10K as well as junior events and a dash for children six and under.
There are events at the village hall throughout the year including a fabulous music festival in mid-May which punches way above its weight, and a bonfire night which attracts hundreds from far and wide.
On Friday nights a mobile fish and chips van parks up in the hall car park. So, if you are staying for the weekend and don’t fancy cooking or going out you know where to go for a traditional take-away.
Opposite the hall is our village pub, the Masons. Unfortunately, it is not open at the moment but there is a huge desire in the village and surrounding area for it to re-open and we live in hope. Anyone fancy buying a pub?
Further into Devauden is our village shop and garage. Devauden Green shop is open 7.30am to 5pm weekdays and 9am to 12pm at the weekend. They have a good selection of essentials and there’s usually a few treats on the counter to tempt you.
Next door the local garage sells petrol and diesel and can fix your vehicle if you have a problem. Its not the cheapest but it is local if you need a top-up or an emergency repair.
You can walk to Devauden from the cottages by crossing the main road into Chepstow Park Woods and turning right parallel to the road. At the track near Windy corner, do a left on the track and then right up a path following the edge of the woods. When you reach the gulley turn left to the village. It takes about 20 minutes.
You come out at the Hall and Village Green. John Wesley will be waiting to tell his story.
The Welsh dragon and Monmouthshire Fleurs-de-lys flutter proudly outside the Hood Memorial Hall
The playground at the village hall is a popular attraction for children.
John Wesley may have turned his head away from our village pub but locals haven’t given up hope the Masons will re-open as an important community hub.
Devauden Green village shop and garage
The path down to Devauden