The Skirrid belonged to the Barony of Abergavenny conferred on Edward Nevyle in c. 1530. lost, and then restored to the family by an Act of Parliament in the third year of the reign of Mary Tudor. In 1535 on the death of George Neville, 3rd Baron of Abergavenny. the ownership of the land was willed to all his successors and remained in Ihe family until 1900 when the Most Honourable William. Marquis of Abergavenny sold the property to David Lewis, a professional Innkeeper.
From earliest times the Skirrid Inn was a public meeting house as well as an alehouse and courts were held within its walls. Between 1100 and 1485 Manorial Courts could have been staged, with Church Courts. Assize Courts and possibly the Skenfrith Petty Sessions in later centuries. It is assumed that the first floor was a court room, complete with a Judge's retiring room.
A 'mesne' floor, halfway up the stairs to the courtroom, was used to house prisoners both before and after their trials, and it was here that many a common criminal -foot-pad, highwayman, robber, thief or cheat spent his last miserable night, listening to the riotous sounds of a low alehouse below.
It is at the bottom of the stairs where many of them are though! to have met their end - hanging from a beam, upon which the scorch and drag marks of the rope can still be seen. Although no exact or Positive records exist, local legend that passes from generation to generation by word of mouth, suggests that upwards of 180 persons havc been hanged at the Skirrid Inn between the 12th and 17th Centuries - the last, as the first, for sheep stealing, in the time of Oliver Cromwell. The hanging cycle had come full circle.
Did the Bloody hand of the Hanging Judge brush ihe Skirrid? Did the Master-Hang man. Bloody Judge Jeffreys (1644 - 1689) sit in judgement in the Skirrid's court room? There is a widespread belief that Jeffreys may have been the King's reaper in dealing with the localised Parish Plot scare of about 1679 in Monmouthshire. He certainly played a grim part in suppressing Monmouth's rebellion 15 years later, but this was James, Duke of Monmouth. nothing to do with the County of Monmouth.
It is possible however that during the supposed Parish Plot the fervent anti-Catholic occupant of Llanvihangel Court. Squire Arnold, may have persecuted local Catholics and tried them in his courthouse - the Skirrid - and that Judge Jeffreys, a son of the Marches, might have been ordered from London to put-down murder and violence. Jeffreys at this lime was Recorder of London under Lord Chief Justice Scrogs.
It can he supposed that a brief bloody taste of ihe power over life or death dealing with an anti-Catholic backlash in the Marcherland backwater, may have helped him towards this post of Lord Chief Justice (I683) and to prepare him for the red-harvest in Somerset - the Bloody Assize in 1685.