The name Monkswood (Coed-y-Mynach) is said to be derived from the Cistercians of Tintern monastic grange, the remains of which can still be found at Great Estavarny Farm.
The largest and most northerly of the council’s wards (with an electoral roll of approximately 260 ) it also has the most violent past. After the battle of Pwll Melyn (near Usk) many of the Welsh forces were slaughtered here during the Owain Glyndwr rebellion in the early 1440s, whilst in more recent times the Royal Ordnance Factory (now BAE Systems) employed up to 20,000 people making armaments during the second World War.
Rumble Street (the western boundary of the ward) is thought to have been part of an old Roman Road system and signs of the old cobbles still exist.
Near Monkswood Garage, on the A472, is the site of a 16th century ironworks (a possible successor to the monks of Tintern workings ) and Rumble Street (also known as Jingle Street ) was used to carry ironstone here; the trappings holding the panniers of iron ore strapped on the back of mules making the noise which lead to the name of the road.
The small stone church of St Matthews exists in Monkswood which was entirely rebuilt in 1883 at a cost of £1,038 and a brass plaque may be found there commemorating those from the Little Mill Reformatory who fell in the First World War.
Running parallel to the main A472 road and just south of it is the line of the old Coleford, Monmouth, Usk, Pontypool Railway (CMUPR - affectionately known as the small railway with the long name) which was first opened in 1856; and although closed in 1955, traces of the lines can still be seen along the route. It is hoped that this can become a footpath/bike trail in the near future.
A thriving cricket club can be found behind the old Beaufort Arms pub and The Glascoed Pub (formerly BAE Systems Social Club) holds a full programme of events, car boot sales and fully licensed weekend camping.
St Matthew's Church, Monkswood
Monkswood Cricket Club