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.
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 Usk has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Monmouthshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Usk and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Usk in Monmouthshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th February 2017
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