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Medieval gravestones (or tomb slabs) at St. Pierre Church near Chepstow. 

The stone on the left is that of Urien de St. Pierre who died in 1295. The sword to the right of the large cross indicates a military calling and it is known that he was appointed Sheriff of the county of Shropshire in 1267.  Sir Joseph Bradney argued that the family might be of Welsh origin since they favoured the ancient Welsh christian name of Urien for their sons at this period. Others think it more likely that the family was Norman French and that the name Urien was used to honour a Welsh mother. Just to complicate the issue, the Morgans claim a common ancestry. Whatever their origins, the family adopted a typically Welsh surname towards the end of the fifteenth century when William ap Thomas ap Lewis de St. Pierre became William Lewis of St. Pierre. The Lewis family continued to live at the St. Pierre mansion until 1893. 

The right hand stone is dated by Bradney to 1239. Here the staff of the cross sprouts leaves and is surrounded by wildlife in a celebration of renewal. 

John Weston 

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