- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
Flaxley is a small settlement in the Forest of Dean District in Gloucestershire, England located in between the larger villages of Westbury-on-Severn and Mitcheldean at the foot of the Vale of Castiard.
Flaxley was a civil parish in the East Dean and United Parishes Rural District until 1935 when it was absorbed into the neighbouring civil parish of Blaisdon.
Flaxley was once a major industrial centre. The Forest of Dean was an important medieval ironworking region, and the earliest forge in Flaxley is recorded in the 12th century. Westbury Brook was the site of five water mills, and at Gun's Mill by Flaxley was one of the main gun foundries of the English Civil War era. A blast furnace was built there in 1629. The earliest known forge was present as early as 1150 and at least five mills have been identified as utilising the waters of Westbury Brook which runs down the valley. The earliest and most famous industrial site is Gun's Mill, a blast furnace built by Sir John Wintour and operated between 1629 to 1743. It was named after William Gunne, the owner of an earlier mill on the site. Gun's Mill was used primarily for armament production and in 1629, the Crown ordered that 610 guns were to be made there and sent to the Netherlands, but many were subsequently used by both sides in the English Civil War. The furnace was destroyed by order of Parliament in 1650 but it was rebuilt in 1683 and remained in use until c.1743 when it became a paper mill. The latter closed in 1879 but several of the furnace's buildings remain and the site is now a scheduled monument as it is the finest remaining example of a charcoal blast furnace from this period in the country.
Online sources which may also be helpful:
- Volume 5, Chapter 3 of the Victoria County History of Gloucestershire found in the website British History Online expands on the subjects of freemining and foresters throughout the Hundred of St Briavels. The chapter includes maps of the various communities and their relationships to one another. There is an article specifically on Flaxley.
- GENUKI gives pointers to other archive sources as well as providing some details on each parish in the county. The emphasis here is on ecclesiastical parishes (useful before 1837)
- A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 and tables of the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Respect the copyright on this material.
- The FamilySearch Wiki for Gloucestershire provides a similar but not identical series of webpages to that provided by GENUKI
- A Vision of Britain through Time has a group of pages of statistical facts for almost every parish in the county
Categories: Gloucestershire, England | St. Briavels (hundred), Gloucestershire, England | Westbury-on-Severn Registration District, Gloucestershire, England | Forest of Dean Registration District, Gloucestershire, England | Gloucestershire Registration District, Gloucestershire, England | East Dean and United Parishes Rural, Gloucestershire, England | Forest of Dean (district), Gloucestershire, England | Blaisdon, Gloucestershire, England | Flaxley, Gloucestershire, England