The “Pagan” Stone
On the inner wall of the tower there is a huge stone depicting a grotesque man’s face with streaks below to indicate a beard. It was originally found in about 1901 in the grounds of Machen House which adjoins the church and was then the Rectory. Roman pottery has also been found in the old stables close by.
The stone has been the subject of much speculation and when the Monmouth and Caerleon Antiquarian Society visited Lower Machen on 28th July 1927, it was noted as being at least as old as the Church. Sir Cyril Fox, archaeologist and a director of the National Museum of Wales pronounced it to be “a Gorgon’s head from the central block of the pediment of a pagan shrine”. However, more recently, there have been other opinions that this mysterious object could be from the 17th or 18th century.