In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Usk like this:
USK, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred, in Monmouth. The town stands on the river Usk, the Julian way, and the Monmouth and Pontypool railway, 12½ miles SW of Monmouth; occupies the site of the Roman Burrium or Bullæum; was known to the ancient Britons as Brynbega; acquired a castle and a Benedictine nunnery, founded by the Clares, in the first half of the 13th century; was chartered by Roger Mortimer in 1398; is governed by a portreeve, a recorder, and other officials; unites with Monmouth and Newport in sending a member to parliament; is a seat of sessions, and a polling place; publishes a weekly newspaper; and has a post-office‡ under Newport, Monmouth, a r. ...
station with telegraph, a good inn, a town hall and market house, a county-house of correction with capacity for 107 male and 39 female prisoners, an old five-arched bridge, an ancient church once cruciform and originally belonging to the Benedictine nunnery, Independent and Wesleyan chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, an endowed grammar-school with £439 a year, charities £39, a weekly market on Friday, and four annual fairs. The castle passed from the Clares to the Mortimers and to the Crown; was the birth-place of Edward IV. and Richard III.; went, after the time of Henry VII., to the Herberts; suffered much injury from Owen Glendower, and utter dismantling by the parliamentarian troops in the civil wars of Charles I.; and is now represented by ivy-clad ruins and a round tower within the grounds of Usk House, the seat of F. Macdonnell, Esq. Pop. of the town in 1861, 1,545 Houses, 311.-The township includes all the town, excepting a pendicle of Gwehellog hamlet. Acres, 404. Real property, £7,623; of which £2,582 are in the railway, and £70 in gasworks. Pop., 1,528. Houses, 307.The parish includes also Gwehellog and Glascoed hamlets; comprises 4,956 acres; and is in Pontypool district. Pop., 2,112. Houses, 423. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Llandaff. Value, £250. Patron, W. A. Williams, Esq.--The subdistrict excludes Glascoed hamlet, but includes 9 other parishes. Acres, 18,360. Pop., 4,035. Houses, 843.- The hundred contains 21 parishes; and is cut into two divisions, higher and lower. Acres, 16,761 and 30,770. Pop. in 1851, 3,274 and 9,730; in 1861, 13,859. Houses, 3,243.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Usk in Monmouthshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 29th March 2017
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