In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Machen like this:
MACHEN, a parish in the district of Newport and counties of Monmouth and Glamorgan; on the river Rhymney, and on the Rhymney and Newport railway, 6 miles W of Newport. It has a station on the railway, and a post office,‡ under Newport, Monmouth; and it comprises the hamlets of Lower Machen and Upper Machen in Monmouth, and the hamlet of Rhydgwern in Glamorgan. Acres of the Monmouth portion, 4,460. Real property of Lower M., £9,491; of which £6,000 are in mines. Pop. in 1851,1,004; in 1861,963. ...
Houses, 192. The decrease of pop. arose from a coal-mine explosion, which caused the death of many of the workmen. Real property of Upper M., £8,706; of which £5,867 are in railways, and £19 in quarries. Pep. in 1851,1,021; in 1861,1,414. Houses, 291. The increase of pop. arose from the opening of a colliery. Acres of Rhydgwern, 707. Real property, with Rudry Van. £3,236; of which £846 are in mines. Pop. in 1851, 185; in 1861,323. Houses, 68. The property is not much divided. Machen Plâs is a chief residence. There are remains of a castle. The land is hilly. The rocks include iron and lead ores and calamine. Extensive iron and tin works and a foundry are in Upper Machen. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Llandaff. Value, #351.* Patron, Lord Tredegar. The parish church is good; and another church is in Upper Machen. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans, good public schools, and charities £16.
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 Machen has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Caerphilly. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Machen and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Machen, in Caerphilly and Monmouthshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 29th August 2016
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