In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lydney like this:
LIDNEY, or LVDNEY, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in the district of Chepstow and county of Gloucester. The town stands in Dean forest, on a streamlet running to the Severn, ½ a mile W of the South Wales railway, about a mile W of the Severn, and 9 NE of Chepstow: is supposed to occupy the site of the Roman station Aboua; has a harbour, called Lidney-creek, entered through gates 26 feet wide, and containing berthage for vessels of 400 tons; is connected, by tram railway, with the Wye at Lidbrook; makes extensive shipments of coal, stone, iron ore, iron products, and timber; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a head post office,‡ a railwaystation, a hotel, a church, three dissenting chapels, a mechanics' institute, a large school for both sexes, a wool and stock fair on 25 June, and other fairs on 4 May and 8 November.The parish contains also the tything of Aylburton, and the hamlets of Allaston, Nass, Neweine, and Purton. ...
Acres, 8,073; of which 1,370 are water. Real property, £19,008; of which £600 are in mines, and £16 in fisheries. Pop. in 1851,2,577; in 1861,2.889. Houses, 511. Lidney Park is the seat of the Bathurst family; and occupies the site of Whitecross House, which was built by Sir William Wyntour, vice-admiral in the time of Queen Elizabeth,-was fortified and defended, for Charles I., by Sir John Wyntour,-and, on the fall of the king, was abandoned and burnt to the ground by Sir John. Remains of a Roman villa and of two Roman camps are in the grounds; and a Roman bath, pieces of tesselated pavement, urns, statues, coins, and other Roman relics have been found. An excellent buildingstone is quarried; coal and iron-ore are mined: and there are extensive iron and tinplate works. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Aylburton, in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Valne, £600. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Hereford. The parochial church is early English; has windows of a later date; was recently restored; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and handsome spire; and contains a new carved stone pulpit, and beautiful painted windows. Aylburton church was rebuilt in 1857. The dissenting chapels are Baptist, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist. Charities, £3.The sub-district contains also six other parishes, four tythings of another, and West Dean township. Acres, 22,335. Pop., 5,907. Houses, 1,184.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Lydney has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Forest of Dean. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Lydney and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lydney, in Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd November 2014
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