Newnham  Gloucestershire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Newnham like this:

NEWNHAM, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Westbury-on-Severn district, Gloucester. The town stands on the river Severn, adjacent to the Gloucester and South Wales railway, 11 miles S W of Gloucester. It was the place where Earl Strongbow and Henry II. met in 1171, and the place whence they set sailfor Ireland; it received from King John a sword of office, which is still kept in perfect preservation; it re-ceived also a charter from King John; it sent a memberto parliament in the time of Edward I.; it afterwardsgot exemption from sending one, on account of poverty; it was, for some time, governed by a mayor and corporation; and it afterwards became governed only by twoconstables. ...

A castle was built at it soon after the Norman conquest; was garrisoned, by Wyntoun, for Charles I.; and was surrendered to Col. Massie. Some remains of fortification may still be traced; and a long raised ancient fosse has been converted into a pleasant promenade. The Severn here is nearly a mile wide; shows beautiful scenery; and has a ferry at high and low water. A proposal was made about 1837 to erect a suspension-bridge, 1, 125 feet long, with two main arches, each 45 feet inspan, and with side-openings; but has never been carried into effect. The town is a seat of petty sessions and county-courts, and a polling-place; and has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, two good hotels, a neat town hall, a church, an Independent chapel, a national school, and charities £50. The church stands on an eminence, at the S end of the town; is an ancient building, in pointed architecture, withtraces of Norman; consists of nave, chancel, and smallside chapel, with an embattled tower; and contains a very curious carved Norman font. A weekly market is held on Friday; fairs are held on 11 June and 18 Oct.; a considerable commerce in bark, timber, slate, and coalis carried on; and there is a large tannery. A branch railway runs to a wharf at Bullo Pill; and tram railways go to collieries and iron-mines in Dean forest. The parish comprises 1,890 acres of land, and 215 of water. Real property, £6, 235; of which £42 are in fisheries. 1851, 1, 288; in 1861, 1, 325. Houses, 251. The manor of Newnham is held by the trustees of John James, Esq.; and the manor of Rodley, part of which iswithin Newnham parish, belongs to Gen. John W. Guise, Bart. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value, £140.* Patrons, the Charity Trustees in Gloucester.—The sub-district contains alsofive other parishes, East Dean township, and five extra-parochial tracts. Acres, 24,023. Pop., 14, 474. Houses, 2, 920.

Newnham through time

Newnham is now part of Forest of Dean district. Click here for graphs and data of how Forest of Dean has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Newnham itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Newnham, in Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 13th July 2020

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