In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Monmouthshire like this:
Monmouthshire, maritime co., in W. of England, bounded N. by Herefordshire and Brecknockshire, E. by Gloucestershire, S. by the Bristol Channel, and W. by Glamorgan; greatest length, N. to S., 32 miles; greatest breadth, E. to W., 27 miles; area, 370,350 ac.; pop. 211,267. On the coast-line (22 m.) the only indentation is that formed by the mouth of the Usk. ...
The co. has a hilly appearance in the N. and NW., and culminates in the Sugar Loaf (1954 ft.). The chief rivers are the Wye and Usk; the latter is navigable for large vessels as far as Newport. Other streams are the Monnow, Ebbw, and llumuey. The streams afford excellent sport for anglers. Towards the seaboard the land is low and flat, and to guard against the encroachments of the sea extensive sea walls and earthworks have been erected. Wheat and rye are the chief crops produced in the fertile valleys of the Usk; oats and barley are grown in the uplands. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) While farming and grazing are leading employments, there are in the W. large industries connected with coal mines, iron mines, and iron mfrs. The mineral district of the co. contains over 100 coal mines. Monmouthshire has a powerful interest for antiquaries. It has many remains of ancient feudal castles, and amoug its ecclesiastical ruins are the splendid remains of the abbeys of Llanthony and Tintern. The co. contains 6 hundreds, 147 pars., the Monmouth Boroughs (Monmouth, Newport, and Usk - 1 member), and the mun. bprs. of Monmouth and Newport. It is entirely in the diocese of Llandaff. For parliamentary purposes the co. is divided into 3 divisions, viz., Northern, Western, and Southern, 1 member for each division; the representation of Monmouthshire was increased from 2 to 3 members in 1885.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Monmouthshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th April 2017
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