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Rhisga / Risca

"RISCA, a parish in the upper division of the hundred of Wentllooge, county Monmouth, 5 miles N.W. of Newport, its post town, and 9 from Pontypool. It is situated on the Crumlin canal and tram-railway, and is chiefly dependent upon its extensive collieries, copper and ironworks. The impropriate tithes belong to the Bishop of Llandaff. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Llandaff, value £102, in the patronage of the Vicar of Bassaleg. The church is dedicated to St. Michael (now St Mary). Risca House, about half a mile S.E. of the village, is the principal residence."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)


  • Burland, Len      Homfray: an industrial dynasty         Gwent Local History vol 101   2006    Welsh Journals Online
  • Jones, Alan V. Risca - its industrial and social development. Bognor Regis : New Horizon, c1980. 128p.
  • Jones, Alan         Risca Copper works revisited          Gwent Local History. No. 95 2003   Welsh Journals Online
  • Jones, Alan V     The Pontymister Riots of 1893           Gwent Local History vol 56 1984    Welsh Journals Online
  • Osborne, G O. Notes on the origin of the place name 'Risca'.              Gwent Local History 67  1989     Welsh Journals Online
  • Osborne. G O         Roman lead mines at Risca?         Gwent Local History vol 100 2006      Welsh Journals Online
  • Osborne, G O Dr         Notes on the Place Name Pontymister: Identification of "Mayst" in the Taxatio of 1291            Gwent Local History 70  1991     Welsh Journals Online
  • Osborne, Graham     The construction of the Grwyne Fawr Waterworks (1913-1928): a relic at Crosskeys          Gwent Local History. No. 98 2005   Welsh Journals Online
  • Paget, Mary (ed). Man of the Valleys: the Recollections of a South Wales Miner. Alan Sutton, 1985. 166p. William Paget, 1870-1968) lived at Colliery Place, Risca.
  • Portrait of a parish : Risca. Gwent Family History Society Journal. No. 73 (Mar. 2004), p. 23-25 .
  • Strickland, Jack. Risca Rugby days of glory. Newport : Starling, 1983. 85p.
  • The Risca Colliery explosion : a full report of the evidence given at the inquest, carefully compiled from the reports of the "Star of Gwent", "Merlin" and short-hand notes taken on the spot ; to which is added an index of the contents. Newport, printed at the "Star of Gwent" Office, 1861. 101p.
  • The Urban District of Risca, Monmouthshire, official guide. Gloucester : British Publishing Co., [1974] 16p.

Church History

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by I.G   Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,  Cardiff, 1976. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.  Check with  Gwent RO to see what extant records are held, and possible names of chapels/churches established after 1851.

Risca Parish; Statistics; Area 1877 acres; Population 1091 males, 953 females, total 2044

  • The Church of an Ancient Chapelry     "There are no legends to know when consecrated or licensed"       Attendance - morning 49 + 15 scholars, evening 93     2 services in English     David Davies, Incumbent
  • Paran, Welsh Independents      Erected 1843     Attendance - morning 85, afternoon 49 scholars, evening 91      Ll Griffiths, Deacon, Agent Chemical Works
  • Soar, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist         Erected 1810    Attendance - morning 70, afternoon 54 scholars, evening 106          Thomas Evans, Minister, Walnut Tree House, Risca
  • Moriah Chapel, Baptists        Erected 1818, rebuilt 1836         Attendance - morning 247, afternoon 100 scholars, evening 415        "Be it observed that that all the services are conducted almost exclusively in the Welsh language"         James Rowe, Minister, Risca
  • Wesleyan Methodist Chapel          Erected 1835              Attendance - morning 155 + 40 scholars, evening 250 + 69 scholars                Samuel Bateman, Steward, Grocer, Risca

Church Records

See the Monmouthshire county page for links to online records

  • This list of parish records is intended as a rough guide to coverage only. Their location as stated should be confirmed with the appropriate Record Office prior to any visit.
    Rhisga / Risca, St Mary's Church (re-erected 1853, formerly St Michael's)- records with the Gwent RO
    Baptisms Marriages Banns Burials
    1813-1946 1754-1823, 1825-1958 1834-1925, 1942-72 1813-1935
    Bishops Transcripts 1696, 1725-75, 1777-1840, 1842, 1845-52, 1876 - records with the NLW
    Cwm-Carn, St John the Evangelist's Church (formed from Mynyddislwyn + Rhisga/Risca 1922) - records with the Gwent RO
    Baptisms Marriages Banns
    1919-49 1923-71 1923-66
    [Details as published in The Parish Registers of Wales, NLW 1986 - present location/availability may vary]

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Rhisga / Risca which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Rhisga / Risca has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.  Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST236911 (Lat/Lon: 51.613478, -3.104824), Rhisga / Risca which are provided by:


  • Risca Black Vein Colliery - on the Welsh Coal Mines site
  • Risca Black Vein Colliery. Death Rolls 14 Jan 1846; 12 March 1853 and  1st Dec 1860 - on the Welsh Coal Mines site
  • Risca Industrial History Museum  site
  • Coal mines in the Cross Keys/Risca area - on the Cross keys Local History site.    Some of the mines featured are;  Benson's level; Celynen South; Blackvein; Cwmbyr; Cwmcarn; Darran; Drill Hall; Green's level; Jack y North; Nine Mile Point; North Risca; Old Ventillator: Prince of Wales;Rock Vein.     See also the Welsh Coal Mines site for individual named pits